84 Month Sentence For Art Fraudster Inigo Philbrick Who Photoshopped & Flew to Vanuatu
Philbrick told Judge Stein that while in MDC Jail he helps others with letter and talks to victims by phone to try to help them find the (lost) paintings. Inner City Press on the case(s)
SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 23 – Inigo Philbrick was charged with art fraud, with a link to Angela Gulbenkian.
On November 18 Philbrick pleaded guilty to one count, and to forfeit $86 million, before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:
now guilty plea by art dealer Inigo Philbrick, linked to... Angela Gulbenkian, of UNSG Antonio Guterres hidden CEFC China Energy bribes fame. Here's "MADE IN DECEPTION – GULBENKIAN AND PHILBRICK"
Note: "The Gulbenkian foundation in Portugal were keen however to distance themselves from the debacle" - kind of like Gulbenkian foundation and UN briber CEFC China Energy, or UNSG Antonio Guterres so keen to distance he bans Press, here
Inigo Philbrick allocutes: From 2016 to 2019 in SDNY and elsewhere I schemed to obtain property by fraud. I made misrepresentation to art vendors, and misrepresented the ownership of art work...
Philbrick con't: ", selling more than 100% and getting loans against them without telling co-owners." [Sounds like UNSG Antonio
Note: Philbrick was refreshingly honest: He said, I did it for money, there was a business I wanted to start.
Phlilbrick pleads guilty, and it is accepted. His able lawyer is in "Do you know this man" podcast about John Ruffo.
On May 23, Philbrick was returned to Judge Stein's courtroom to be sentenced, brought in by two US Marshals. Philbrick was sentenced to 84 months in prison. The gallery was full and Inner City Press was there and live tweeted, thread here
Defense lawyer: This is a highly publicized case, but it shouldn't be held against my client. Judge Stein: I have sentencing another fraudster after this, less publicity. But I'll do it the same. Speak about the crime Defense lawyer: His idyllic life was shattered
Defense lawyer: At 14 he learned his father had an affair -- Judge Stein: You're blaming the forgeries on divorce? Selling art without the owners' consent? No. Defense: The stock of what occurred, the parental alienation...
Judge Stein: The record indicates he fled to Vanuatu, with which the US apparently had no extradition treaty, on the advice of a Miami attorney, which is interesting. Do you dispute he stopped communicating with the victims? Defense lawyer: He sent to Japan and Australia.
Defense: He also went to New Caledonia. He was hardly hiding. He communicated before he left. He was not running away. He admitted fraud to Andre and others. Judge Stein: Why did he go to Vanuatu from Oct 2019 until June 12, 2020 when he was arrested?
Judge Stein: He wife was very pregnant. Why were they in Vanuatu? Defense: His financee's family had a connection with it. They had previously been there on vacation.
Defense: He met with the government numerous times,
Judge. You've been here longer that I have. He tried to cooperate. Ok, there's no 5K1 letter. But no on is saying he lied. He recently met voluntarily with the civil lawyers for the victims.
Defense: The first thing he did after he hired me was to ask to talk to the US. Judge Stein: He proffered 5 times & was generally truthful, it says. I'm not going to sentence him to the recommended 121 months. But I'm surprised I don't have more from the victims.
Note: In the docket is a victim's impact letter from Daniel Tumpel, who wrote that "we later found out that the painting was photoshopped into the picture and that the painting was no longer in Philbrick's possession."
Philbrick's lawyer: There another art fraud case in which Judge Rakoff gave an 18 month sentence, for acceptance of responsibility. Here there are mitigating factors. It should be significantly lower than 121 months.
Philbrick's lawyer: I represent mass murderers, I believe bank CEOs who are in jail. [Inner City Press wonders, Who are these bank CEOs who are in jail?]
Judge Stein: I will order a medical exam of Mr. Philbrick's mole. Philbrick's lawyer: He just dug himself in deeper, he kept trying to dig out --
Judge Stein: It's a Ponzi scheme. He took money from later investors to pay the earlier ones. He had all the social connections to assist in the business. He engaged in massive fraud
Judge Stein: People are going to think this is the run of the mill art dealer. Philbrick's lawyer: Your frustration is palpable for a reason. My client is only 34. He began confessing on the plane back from Vanuatu.
Assistant US Attorney: We ask for a substantial sentence. Judge Stein: I will be more than he has served, but below the guidelines. AUSA: We received 16 restitution requests, and more are coming in. Philbrick took a piece of art and gave it to Andre Sakhai
AUSA: I just looked at the 302 from the flight from Vanuatu. He was blaming it on Robert Newland. Later we tried to corroborate things. We offered him a plea without the mandatory minimum for aggravated identity theft.
AUSA: To prosecute Robert Newland, we do not anticipate calling Mr Philbrick as a witness. [From the docket: the US "is seeking Newland's extradition from the UK."]
People in the art world don't like to talk about their business, even as victims. AUSA: The art market is one of handshakes. That's why general deterrence is so important here.
Philbrick himself: I hope my conduct and my comportment on the day of my arrest cause no doubt about my remorse and sorrow.
Philbrick: My family grew from two to three while I was in MDC. My conduct was outrageous. 12 years ago I was offered a role in the art world. It required deception. The vanity of youth perverted my abilities.
Judge Stein: Our court reporter needs a break. Let's take five minutes.
They've back. Philbrick: These days I help guys in the MDC with their letters. And getting on the phone with victims and trying to help them find the paintings. That's what I want the court to know. Judge Stein: What did you mean, the position required deception?
Philbrick: I ran a gallery & pretended it was mine. Judge Stein: Don't many galleries have 1 person's name on them, but the funding comes from another? Philbrick: Yes: But what I told people was false. Judge Stein: Why did you do this? Philbrick: Vanity and greed.
Judge Stein: I am going to vary downward. He is a first time offender and tried to help the US after. He was incarcerated during COVID. I am imposing a sentence of 84 months, down from the 121 month guideline.
The case is US v. Philbrick, 20-cr-351 (Stein)
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