Police in Texas arrest NY auctioneer wanted for alleged estate thefts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – An auctioneer accused of bilking families in the Buffalo region who had entrusted him with selling their deceased relatives’ heirlooms has been arrested in Texas by U.S. marshals.

Anthony Monkelban fled in August as complaints began piling up against him for failing to make good on payments for property he was supposed to liquidate.

Arrest warrants were issued in Buffalo and at least six suburbs after the 49-year-old Monkelban, formerly of Delevan in Cattaraugus County, took away family heirlooms and valuables but never followed through with promised auctions.

Authorities tell The Buffalo News that Monkelban was found hiding out in a recreational vehicle park in Denton, north of Dallas, earlier this week. They said Monkelban, who was staying with a friend, offered no resistance when marshals showed up.

Information from: The Buffalo News, http://www.buffalonews.com

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AP-WS-11-25-10 1010EST