The British art dealer Robert Newland, who last year pleaded guilty for his part in a string of fraudulent art deals with one-time wunderkind Inigo Philbrick, was sentenced to 20 months in prison by a New York court on Wednesday.
Sidney H. Stein, the judge presiding over the sentencing, also recommended two years of supervised release. He said that Newland should serve 200 hours of community service during each of those years.
Stein said that Newland should serve his prison sentence in the UK, not in New York.
In September of last year, Newland pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in helping to “defraud various individuals and entities” with Philbrick and was released on a $400,000 bond. As part of the plea agreement, Newland forfeited $76,000, a 2016 painting by Christopher Wool, a 2007 print by Wade Guyton, and a Jean Prouvé desk.
When he was indicted months before that, Newland was head of sales at Superblue, an art-and-technology organization that has recently seen other key players step back from their roles.
In November 2021, Philbrick, who was accused of defrauding investors, collectors, and fellow art dealers out of millions dollars, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. The following May, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.
In a memo filed memo filed September 12 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, prosecutors said that despite the fact that Newland was not “the instigator and driver” of the years-long, multi-million-dollar fraud, Newland, “in the role of financial adviser … partnered with Philbrick, a talented young art dealer, to convince investors and lenders to trust Philbrick with their art and money.”
Prosecutors said that while Newland doesn’t deserve as severe a sentence as Philbrick, a firm hand could discourage future art world swindlers.