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Monday, 29 April, 2002, 22:57 GMT 23:57 UK
Ex-Sotheby's chief sentenced
Diane Brooks (centre) arrives in court in Manhattan, New York
Brooks testified against her former Sotheby's boss
Former Sotheby's chief executive Diana "Dede" Brooks has been sentenced to six months home detention for her part in a price fixing scandal that shook the international art world.


You have allowed yourself to go from a successful respected executive to being ridiculed as a caricature for melodrama

Presiding judge George Daniels
Brooks, 51, formerly one of the most powerful figures in the art auctioning industry, was also ordered by the New York court to pay $350,000 in fines, serve three years of probation and work 1,000 hours of community service.

Her sentence comes a week after her former boss, ex-Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for orchestrating a scam with his opposite number at Christie's auction house, Sir Anthony Tennant to artificially raise fees charged to clients.

The conspiracy is thought to have overcharged Sotheby's sellers more than $40m in the 1990s.

The two auction houses control about 90% of the world's live auction market in goods such as art and jewellery.

Notoriety

Presiding judge George Daniels harshly criticised Brooks for trading "fame for shame".

Former Sotheby's chairman Alfred Taubman
Taubman is currently serving a year and a day in prison

"You have allowed yourself to go from a successful respected executive to being ridiculed as a caricature for melodrama," he said.

"The notoriety you have gained will outlive you."

Brooks avoided a harsher sentence of up to three years by co-operating with authorities and testifying against Taubman.

She will spend the six months in her New York apartment and must submit to an electronic ankle and wrist bracelet, the Associated Press news agency reported.

See also:

23 Apr 02 | Americas
Sotheby's chief gets year in jail
06 Dec 01 | Americas
Former Sotheby's chairman guilty
05 Dec 01 | Americas
History of a conspiracy
28 Nov 01 | Europe
Sothebys makes French debut
12 Oct 01 | Business
Sotheby's reviews flagging website
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