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Art Dealer Inigo Philbrick Gets 7 Years in Prison for $86 Million Fraud

  • Philbrick ran ‘Ponzi-like scheme’ to bankroll lavish lifestyle
  • He burst on art scene bidding millions for works by Basquiat
Inigo Philbrick
Inigo PhilbrickPhotographer: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
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High-end art dealer Inigo Philbrick was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to an $86 million fraud.

Philbrick, who specialized 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.