Socialite Sociopath Sent Down

Matthew Steeples joins those condemning toothy tealeaf and “socialite sociopath” Angela Gulbenkian’s short sentence for art fraud.

Matthew Steeples joins those condemning toothy tealeaf and “socialite sociopath” Angela Gulbenkian’s short sentence for art fraud

Toothy tealeaf Angela Gulbenkian was shockingly sentenced to just three years, six months in prison on Friday.


“Credited,” according to Artnet, with having served two years already after being detained on a European arrest warrant for her in excess of £1 million crime, this 39-year-old “sociopath socialite” will now likely remarkably serve less than half that time.


Before sending her down at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, Judge David Tomlinson observed: “Both counts on the indictment involve, in comparative terms, thefts of very large sums of money. Running through all of this criminality was a sustained obfuscation on your part. When AIL and Ms. Ball separately tried to get you to deliver on your promise, your treatment of them prolonged the distress.”


Speaking to The Steeple Times later, Jane Morris of Percy Bass – whose firm remains unpaid by the deservedly now in-the-clink art dealer – remarked of Gulbenkian’s surprisingly short sentence:


“It seems a very short sentence given her antics have affected a lot of peoples’ lives. I cannot believe it and is in her nature to do it again. They do not take art fraud seriously enough in this country and the courts should have been far less lenient towards her.”


Going further, in a comment to Artnet’s Taylor Defoe by email, Christopher Marinello, the lawyer for Gulbenkian’s most significant financially victim, added:


“In my view, this sends the wrong message to the post-Brexit London art market. It says to me that fraudsters are welcome in London to ply their trade, to spend and hide their ill-gotten gains on property and luxury goods, as long as the [Revenue and Customs department] gets their share.”


Mr Marinello and Mrs Morris are both quite right. The sentence given is appallingly lacking and today we join those calling for this wicked wastrel woman to be given extra time.


Angela Gulbenkian – who traded on her links to the famous family into which she married – should have received a far harsher sentence. ‘Awful Ange’ (as one former friend nicknamed this conniving thief) deserves to rot given her victims have recouped little to nothing of what she spent indulging herself with a £218,000 shopping bill, £121,000 on travel, a £25,000 Rolex watch and £56,000 on art amongst other things.
At sentencing, Judge David Tomlinson repeatedly remarked on the “distress” caused by the German socialite to her victims. Whilst her defence had highlighted how she had lost her previously “lavish lifestyle” when her husband had stopped working for his family’s business, the Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor Laura Hoon responded: “[She] used her status and powerful connections in the art dealing world to portray an air of legitimacy while carrying out her criminal activities. She stole thousands and concocted a web of lies for months on end.”

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  • She stole millions and got under 4 years. The Great Train Robbers stole millions and got 20-30 years. The difference? I'm sure one of the reasons has to be social class.....

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