What happened with ‘serial swindler’ and father of Made in Chelsea star Victoria’s baby
Inigo Philbrick has been sentenced to seven years in prison for a £16million art scam
One of the storylines brushed over at the beginning of this season of Made in Chelsea was that Victoria Baker-Harber is raising her child alone because her previous partner is currently in prison. She mentions that she has briefly visited her incarcerated ex-partner, but he has never met their baby, Gaia-Grace. There have been updates to the case since the episodes aired, and he has been sentenced.
The father of her baby is art dealer Inigo Philbrick, and he initially faced up to 20 years in prison for a multi-million pound art scam. He’s been described as a “youthful”, “handsome” and a “Gatsby-like figure”. Here’s the latest on the case.
Inigo Philbrick plead guilty to a £16million art scam
34-year-old art dealer Inigo Philbrick plead guilty to a huge art fraud, in which he is said to have sold multiple pieces to people at hugely inflamed prices. He is said to have been caught conning art buyers out of more than $86million and whilst in court, told a judge in New York he “did it for the money”. The scam, which is said to have earned him $20million (£16million), included selling one artwork for £4.1million, only for one person to claim they owned it and two others saying they had a 50 per cent share.
In November 2019 Philbrick failed to appear for court hearings in Miami and London. He was tracked down and arrested back in 2020, and has been held in jail ever since. He had been hiding from authorities but was found on an island in the South Pacific, with even Victoria saying she had no idea where he had been. He was arrested by US law enforcement agents on the Pacific island of Vanuatu, a “tax haven” with a reputation of housing “shady people”.
US Attorney Damian Williams said: “Inigo Philbrick was a serial swindler who took advantage of the lack of transparency in the art market to defraud art collectors, investors and lenders of more than $86million to finance his art business and his lifestyle.”
Philbrick, who pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud last November, was due to be sentenced in New York earlier in the year. He faced up to 20 years in prison, but has since been sentenced to seven years. He has also agreed to turn over more than $86million that is said to be traceable to the fraud, and to forfeit paintings. 17 letters were submitted in an attempt to give him a lesser sentence, from close friends and family supporting his good character. One letter was provided by Made in Chelsea star Victoria, about her previous partner.
Victoria was at his sentencing hearing
Appearing in court, Philbrick described his behaviour as “outrageous and inexcusable” and apologised for “disastrous and destructive acts.” He was sentenced to seven years, despite federal guidelines calling for 10 to 12 years imprisonment. Philbrick’s lawyer argued for a more lenient sentence due to the media coverage of the trial and the impact Philbrick’s parents’ divorce had on him as a teenager. The two years he has already served in custody will be included in his current sentence.
Victoria appeared at the sentencing alongside Philbrick’s mother.
He was the partner of Made in Chelsea star Victoria Baker-Harber and they have one child together
It was a huge surprise when Victoria Baker-Harber announced she had a baby – the public weren’t even aware she was pregnant. She started dating Inigo Philbrick in 2017 and gave birth to their baby girl, Gaia-Grace, in 2020. Philbric hasn’t ever met his child, as he is in the US in prison. When Victoria had Gaia-Grace, she and Philbrick were engaged.
On recent episodes of Made in Chelsea, Victoria says she has visited Philbrick but is currently single and dating again.