Art | November 19, 2021 1:02 pm

Inigo Philbrick’s Saga of Art and Fraud Continues — With a Guilty Plea

He faces a substantial prison term

Inigo Philbrick
Inigo Philbrick and Francesca attend Chufy and Globe-Trotter Luggage Collaboration at Loukoumi Taverna on April 11, 2016 in Queens, NY.
Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

For nearly two years, art-world observers have had a courtside seat for the ongoing saga of art dealer Inigo Philbrick — a man who embodied an extravagant lifestyle and who went missing after he found himself facing several lawsuits. Last summer, Philbrick was arrested in Vanuatu and has been awaiting trial ever since. He now faces charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

And, as Victoria Bekiempis reports at Vulture, he’s now pleaded guilty to the former in federal court. He told judge Sidney Stein that he made use of “material misrepresentations and omissions” in service of making money. He went on to explain that he resorted to illegal activities because he needed money to make his business grow.

As for how much money he needed — well, the article notes that Philbrick agreed to pay back $86 million. You know, just a little nest egg to help get a modest small business off the ground.

Under his plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence for Philbrick of between 121 and 151 months — though the judge in the case has final discretion. Philbrick could face a maximum sentence of 20 years, but has agreed not to appeal a sentence of 151 months or less. All of which might bring the saga of Philbrick’s career and flight from justice to an end — at least until the inevitable movie.