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‘Vanity and greed’: artful dodger gets seven years for $86m fraud

World

‘Vanity and greed’: artful dodger gets seven years for $86m fraud

High-end art dealer Inigo Philbrick ran ‘Ponzi-like scheme’ to bankroll lavish lifestyle

Bob Van Voris

High-end art dealer Inigo Philbrick has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to an $86m (R1.4bn) fraud.

Philbrick, who specialised in postwar and contemporary art and had galleries in London and Miami, ran a “Ponzi-like scheme” in which he used money from some customers to buy artworks, pay off others and bankroll a lavish lifestyle, federal prosecutors said. When it all began to fall apart in 2019, he went on the lam to escape the claims of his clients, ending up in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, where he was taken into custody by US marshals the following year.

In a statement he read to the judge on Monday in federal court in Manhattan, Philbrick, 35, apologised to his victims and called his conduct “outrageous and inexcusable”...

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