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She was also ordered to pay a $350,000 fine and serve 1000 hours of community service. The sentencing of Brooks came a week after former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman was jailed for a year and a day and fined $7.5m for orchestrating the conspiracy. Crucial to his conviction was the testimony provided by Brooks against her former boss.

She agreed to co-operate with the authorities in the hope of avoiding a possible three-year jail sentence for her part in the scam. This she did, although her decision was not motivated by a guilty conscience, according to Judge Daniels.

The sentencing was the final act in the US Justice department’s five-year long investigation into the two auction houses, although civil action continues in Europe.

Brooks will wear an electronic tag, a scheme pioneered to ease the burden on the overcrowded US prison system, whereby the movements of convicted felons are monitored by probation officers. She will only be allowed to leave her home to visit church, the doctors, or to do her community service.