Inigo Philbrick: Ripley-esque Fraudster Gets HBO Drama

Inigo Philbrick

In a plot twist that rivals Anna Sorokin, a gripping true-crime drama about the saga of art-world fraudster Inigo Philbrick is set to play out in a scripted series following a recent wave of interest in real-life scandal narratives on our screens.

HBO, in collaboration with Bad Wolf, the Sony-owned production company celebrated for its contributions to acclaimed shows like Doctor Who is orchestrating the transformation of Philbrick’s tumultuous life into what promises to be a drama of Succession proportions. ‘Bad Wolf’ has secured the rights to the forthcoming memoir ‘All That Glitters’, penned by Philbrick’s former friend and confidant, Orlando Whitfield.

The book, scheduled for release on May 2, is an exposé that delves into the most significant art fraud ever witnessed in U.S. history. As reported, ‘Bad Wolf’ is still in the nascent stages of bringing this gripping narrative to fruition. The independent production house, headquartered in Cardiff and co-founded by Jane Tranter, the executive producer behind Succession, previously garnered acclaim for HBO’s high-finance drama Industry. “Orlando’s unique perspective and insider access render his manuscript one of the must-reads in recent memory,” Tranter conveyed to Deadline.

Once hailed as an ambitious star within the gallery scene, Philbrick embarked on a journey to notoriety as an intern at London’s revered White Cube gallery, eventually ascending to head of secondary-market sales, as The New York Times reported. Transitioning into an independent venture, Philbrick established galleries in Mayfair and Miami, where he operated as a broker. However, his rise was soon tarnished by allegations of duplicity, as he engaged in the fraudulent sale of artworks to multiple buyers and artificially inflated the value of various pieces, including those attributed to luminaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Christopher Wool.

Amid mounting accusations, Philbrick absconded the country, seeking refuge in the idyllic seclusion of the South Pacific. His flight from justice culminated in a dramatic arrest by the FBI on the remote island of Vanuatu in June 2020. Philbrick’s legal saga reached its climax in November 2021 with his admission of guilt to federal wire fraud charges. Subsequently, in May 2022, he received a staggering seven-year prison sentence in Pennsylvania for orchestrating an art-dealing Ponzi scheme that defrauded clients of an astronomical $86 million. Vanity Fair revealed that Philbrick was granted home confinement in January 2023.

While concrete details regarding the HBO series’ release date remain elusive, another project centred on Philbrick’s exploits is in development. BBC Arts has partnered with Blue Ant Media to craft a three-part documentary chronicling the rise and fall of Philbrick and his partner, Victoria Baker-Harber, who is best known for her reality TV appearances in Made In Chelsea.

Photo: Via Instagram

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