A Park Avenue gallerist was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for running a multimillion-dollar art scheme, officials said Thursday. Ezra Chowaiki, who founded the once-prominent Chowaiki & Co. gallery, orchestrated an “elaborate scheme to defraud art dealers and collectors of millions of dollars” from 2015 to 2017, according to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. Chowaiki “fleeced his victims by entering into fraudulent agreements with dealers and collectors to buy or sell artwork through a private art gallery located on Park Avenue in New York, New York... and by using these dealers’ and collectors’ funds and artwork for unauthorized purposes, such as to repay other dealers to whom Chowaiki had outstanding debts,” prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty to one wire fraud count on May 3. Chowaiki, 49, must also give up his interest in more than 20 “fraudulently transferred” works—which include art by Degas and Picasso. Reached by phone, his lawyer declined to comment.