Gaoled ‘Mini-Madoff’ Inigo Philibrick admits he did “it for money… that simple” as he pleads guilty to £64 million art fraud; his usually mouthy ‘baby mama’ Victoria Baker-Harber has meanwhile gone surprisingly silent
Somewhat ludicrously lauded as an “art world wunderkind” by The Daily Beast and “the art world’s Mini-Madoff” by his one-time chum, the art dealer Kenny Schachter, Inigo Philbrick this week pleaded guilty to wire fraud and will turn over some £64 million ($86 million, €76 million or درهم316 million) and several paintings to authorities.
Now facing upto 20 years in jail without the possibility of parole when sentenced on 18th March 2021, 34-year-old Philbrick – who is presently engaged and has a young child with the mouthy Made In Chelsea reality show participant Victoria Baker-Harber – told the Manhattan federal court: “I knew my actions were wrong and illegal.”
Going further, the Ponzi scheming crook added: “[I] knowingly engaged [in a scheme to make money using] material misrepresentations and omissions.”
Asked by the judge in the case, Sidney Stein: “Why did you do this?”, Philbrick responded: “For money, your honour… That simple.” Reportedly, prior to proceedings, the felon “looked towards a modelesque blonde who was seated in the front row, and raised his eyebrows at her in a playful greeting.”
Described mockingly by Vulture as having “shackles around his ankles [and] wearing a khaki jail shirt and institutional navy pants” and with hair “grown out into a sort of curly mullet,” the supposedly “remorseless” criminal’s plea deal has resulted in prosecutors recommending a sentence of between 121 and 151 months. As part of this, he has agreed not to appeal any sentence of 151 months or less.
In a statement following the hearing, U.S. attorney Damian Williams commented:
“Inigo Philbrick was a serial swindler who took advantage of the lack of transparency in the art market to defraud art collectors, investors, and lenders of more than $86 million to finance his art business and his lifestyle.”
Responding in an emailed statement, the bearded bullshitter’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, later remarked:
“Inigo accepted full responsibility for his actions today and will pay for his crimes the rest of his life.”
“While his actions were dishonest and criminal in nature, he’s part of an industry sick from top to bottom where this sort of behavior is sadly commonplace. That being said, he apologises to his victims and will do all that he can to make them whole.”
Previously, in December 2019, revered art dealer Jay Jopling – who helped launch Philbrick’s career by giving him an internship – told ARTnews:
“I am aware of the serious allegations made against Mr Inigo Philbrick. It has hurt and saddened me to learn that Mr Philbrick, whom I respected and whose early career I supported, has not only betrayed my trust but, it appears, that of many others.”
“We are privileged in our industry to work closely with the artists and art that we love. I am enormously disappointed that Mr. Philbrick appears to have abused this position of privilege.”
“I was shocked to discover the allegations of serious wrongdoing by Mr Philbrick in U.S. media reports in October 2019. At the earliest possible opportunity, I applied for an injunction against Mr Philbrick to protect my interests.”
Pictured top: Incarcerated conman Inigo Philbrick with Victoria Baker-Harber – a wacky woman who’ll normally do anything for attention who has remarkably now gone rather quiet on both her Twitter and Instagram accounts.