Imelda Marcos’ former secretary sentenced to 6 years in U.S. prison for art theft

She was also ordered to pay $3.5 million in taxes.

Agence France-Presse (via the Manila Bulletin) reports that the New York State Supreme Court has sentenced Vilma Bautista, Imelda Marcos' former personal secretary to two to six years in prison for conspiring to sell Impressionist masterpieces-including a painting of renowned artist Claude Monet-that technically belong to the Philippine government.

According to the report, the court also ordered Bautista to pay "$3.5 million in income taxes she owes to New York City and to New York State." In November, a jury convicted the Marcos' 75-year-old former aide "of conspiracy and tax fraud in connection with the sale of the Monet piece, 'Le Bassin aux Nympheas' (1899),"  worth $28 million. (Note: Some reports say a Swiss buyer paid $43 million for the painting and that Bautista earned-after fees to the gallery that handled the sale-$32 million.)


Bautista was arrested by authorities following the discovery that she stole the pricey artworks owned by Marcos-- which were already seized by the Philippine government-and sold them without permission sometime in 1995. She claimed, however, that she obtained the former first lady’s permission before selling the paintings.


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