Helly Nahmad Sentenced to One Year and One Day in Jail
Art dealer Hillel "Helly" Nahmad, who runs Upper East Side's Helly Nahmad Gallery and has long been a fixture at auctions and art fairs along with his father, mega-collector David Nahmad, has been sentenced to 366 days in prison, Bloomberg reports . The prison term was handed down as punishment for Nahmad's involvement in a high-stakes gambling ring with connections to the Russian mob that was busted in 2013, resulting in the raiding of his gallery just over a year ago.
After confessing in November 2013 to playing a leadership role in the illegal gambling ring, Nahmad had pleaded for community service rather than jail time, as artnet News previously reported. He offered to spend his time educating children about art and art history. "I could really reach young people in a good way and hopefully introduce them to a world they might not otherwise ever visit," he wrote in a letter to a US District Judge. Prosecutors had been seeking a sentence of 12–to–18 months.
As a component of his plea, Nahmad agreed to forfeit some $6.4 million and any rights to the Raoul Duffy painting Carnaval a Nice, 1937. According to his lawyers, since his involvement in the gambling ring was revealed, Nahmad has lost the lease on his gallery space at the Carlyle Hotel on Madison Avenue, and art sales have dropped by over 75 percent.