Former Yale Corporation member Diana Brooks ’72, the former chief executive officer of Sotheby’s Holdings Inc., was sentenced Monday to six months of home detention and three years probation for her involvement in a price-fixing scheme with rival auction house Christie’s.
In addition to her probation, Brooks, who avoided three years in prison, must complete 1,000 hours of community service and pay a $350,000 fine.
At the sentencing, Brooks said she will “forever bear the burden of what I’ve done” and apologized to “all the people I’ve hurt.”
But U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels said self-preservation was Brooks’ only motivation for cooperating by serving as the key witness in the case.
“Although your decision to cooperate was the right one, it was not a noble gesture motivated by a guilty conscience,” he said.
Her Corporation term would have expired this June, but Brooks resigned after the June meeting in 2000. Brooks has given substantially to the University as a donor for the Varsity Training Room in Payne Whitney Gymnasium, the Athletic Medicine Center and other projects.
University Secretary Linda Lorimer said Brooks was a valuable asset to the Corporation during her time at Yale.
“She was enormously conscientious and always available to meet with student groups or to participate in any committee sessions during her entire term on the Corporation,” Lorimer said. “She has always been extremely devoted to Yale.”
The Sotheby’s-Christie’s alliance violated federal antitrust law, and Brooks pleaded guilty in October 2000 to a felony count of collaborating with Christie’s to fix prices.
Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest fine-arts auction houses, agreed at the same time to pay a fine of $45 million.
Brooks accused her former boss A. Alfred Taubman, Sotheby’s former chairman and principal owner, of putting her up to the conspiracy.
On Dec. 5, 2001, Taubman was convicted on charges of conspiracy with Sir Anthony Tennant, Christie’s former head. Tennant’s part in the conspiracy has been recognized, but he denies his role and will not come to the United States for formal legal proceedings.
Under British law, Tennant cannot be extradited on antitrust violations.
–The Associated Press contributed to this story.