Robert Newland | British art dealer leads guilty in wire fraud trial

Robert Newland, a British art dealer who worked with fraudster Inigo Philbrick, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

robert newland inigo phillbrick art fraud

Robert Newland, a British art dealer who served as a business partner and financial advisor to convicted fraudster Inigo Philbrick, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before a United States District Court. 

Newland was arrested in the UK in February after being indicted by New York’s Southern District Court. At the time of his arrest, Newland was a sales director for the Miami-based art and tech house Superblue.

The Times reported that he was released on £250,000 bail, the conditions of which and forced to Newland to abide by an evening curfew and electronic monitoring while he awaited possible extradition. Newland told The Times: “I’ve got no statement. It’s all being worked out at the moment. It’s being taken care of.” 

On 22 September his extradition to the US went ahead. Newland pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in front of Judge Sidney Stein, the same judge who sentenced Newland’s former boss, Philbrick, to seven years in prison

Philbrick was indicted by a New York grand jury in 2020 for his “years-long effort” in defrauding collectors and institutions out of £68 million ($86m). He was arrested while hiding on the pacific island of Vanuatu.

Philbrick and Newland met in 2010 while working at London’s White Cube gallery. In 2013, White Cube’s owner, Jay Jopling, helped Philbrick launch Modern Collections, a sales company that saw Philbrick rise to the upper echelon of the art market, and from 2014 until the end of 2016, Newland was Modern Collections’ director.

One count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, according to the US Department of Justice.

As part of his plea deal with the US government, Newland agreed to forfeit the $76,000 representing his proceeds from the wire fraud. On September 23, he was granted bail on condition of a $400,000 personal recognisance bond. He was then allowed to return to the UK, after which his passport had to be returned to his attorney, Robert Burlingame, and his travel restricted to the UK and the Southern and Eastern districts of New York.

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