Remember the classic Zero Mostel film The Producers, where a pair of swindlers sold investors far more than 100% of a play that was destined to fail, but succeeded, putting the fraudsters in jail ? Here is a case of life imitating art. INIGO PHILBRICK, a name that could have come out of central casting, a Miami & London art dealer who stole more than twenty million dollars from investors, has been charged with Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft.
Philbrick seems to have engaged in every permutation and combination of fraudulent action that exists, over a multi-year period, to cheat his clients, including forging signatures n contracts to jack up the purchase price, selling art that he did not own, and selling more than one hundred per cent of an artwork to unsuspecting clients. He also defrauded his art finance company. Media have been referring to him as "the art world's Mini-Madoff." His galleries were in Mayfair in London, and in Miami's Design & Decoration (D & D) District.
The defendant, an American citizen, was evading arrest abroad, living in the remote Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, when he was expelled by local authorities, and taken into custody by the United States, He is expected to be arraigned in the nearest American territory, Guan.
Readers who wish to learn more about this case may access the Criminal Complaint, signed by the lead FBI Agent here.