Story of Disgraced Art Dealer Who Swindled Millions Gets HBO Series

Inigo Philbrick (photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

The Sony-owned production company Bad Wolf has secured the rights to a forthcoming memoir documenting the rise and fall of disgraced American art dealer Inigo Philbrick, who was released from prison earlier this year after he was convicted in connection with a multimillion-dollar fraud operation. The HBO television series will be based on All That Glitters: A Story of Friendship, Fraud, and Fine Arts by Philbrick’s former friend and associate Orlando Whitfield, yet to be published.

After an accelerated climb to the high ranks of the art-market sphere, Philbrick was sentenced to prison over a “Ponzi-like” scheme during which he defrauded over $86 million from various clients by obfuscating ownership information for multiple artworks. Philbrick sold shares to multiple investors that totaled over 100% in ownership for several works of art, sold or used pieces as collateral for loans without informing owners and stakeholders, and forged documents to inflate artwork valuations.

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Philbrick maintained his fraudulent practices between 2016 and 2019 before he was eventually caught by a client and fled to the Pacific island of Vanuatu for nearly a year in an attempt to avoid criminal charges brought against him. The dealer was arrested in Vanuatu in June 2020 and extradited back to the United States, where he was incarcerated for about a year and a half and pled guilty to one count of wire fraud in 2021.

Philbrick was sentenced to seven years in May 2022, but the time served before his conviction was applied to his sentence, and he was released from prison this January.

Having known the dealer since 2006, Whitfield recounts the details of Philbrick’s ascension in the art market to his conviction in the new memoir set to hit the shelves this May. Upon securing production rights for Whitfield’s account, Bad Wolf co-founder Jane Tranter told Deadline that “Orlando’s unique voice and access makes one of the most exciting manuscripts we’ve read in a very long time.” Neither Bad Wolf nor HBO immediately responded to Hyperallergic‘s request for comment.

Source: Hyperallergic.com

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