Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dealer Larry Salander Pleads Guilty to Stealing $120M| The Slammer

On March 18, 2010, a red-faced, stooped Larry Salander sat in a Manhattan criminal courthouse, the walls bare of any art, finally admitting he had masterminded schemes to defraud his clients, consignors, investors and banks. Salander was accompanied by two of his seven children. His wife Julie did not appear.

Salander’s lawyer said the dealer had had a stroke about ten days earlier. The DA said Salander was abusing alcohol. The hearing was one of the most depressing events I have witnessed in nearly a decade on the arts beat. Was greed the only reason Salander had begun stealing from his friends, clients and colleagues? How does someone fall so far, so fast?

With his guilty plea, Salander waived rights to a trial or appeal. He will be sentenced to 6 to 18 years in prison and $120 million in restitution. Bloomberg News’ Philip Boroff, who has doggedly covered the story from the start, covered yesterday’s proceedings here.

Representatives from artist’s estates — Earl Davis, son of Stuart Davis, John Crawford, son of Ralston Crawford, and Kinney Frelinghuysen, nephew of Suzy Frelinghuysen — looked on.

Salander read from a prepared statement, a litany of admissions including he had “sold greater than 100% of works,” and “failed to inform investors when artworks were sold,” and “defrauded consignors of artwork in a variety of ways.” He admitted he had “sold artworks to dealers at prices the dealer knew were below consignor prices.” This made me wonder about the validity of sales Salander had conducted with a small group of dealers from 2004-2009, selling works at prices obviously below market value.

Here is an incomplete list of victims and amounts stolen:

$45 million from Renaissance Art Partners (investor)

$15 million -$25 million from Earl Davis (estate of Stuart Davis)

$6.45 million Morton Bender (investor)

$6 million Hester Diamond (collector)

$2.8 million Roy Lennox (hedge fund investor)

$2 million Saundra Lane (collector)

$2 million Bank of America

$1.8 million Carol Cone

$2.23 million Estate of Alex Pearlman

$1 million Stanely Moss

$311,312 Gerald Peters (dealer)

$2.1 million Estates Frelinghuysen and Morris (artist estate)

$526,000 Estate Giorgio Cavallon (artist estate)

$200,000 Elaine Rosenberg (landlord)

$126,000 Neelon Crawford (artist estate)

$154,000 Helen McNeil

$1.3 million Estate of Elie Nadelman (artist estate)

$6.6 million Lachaise Foundation (artist estate)

$1.25 Estate of Robert de Niro, Jr. (artist estate)

SOURCE: Lindsay Pollock


Anonymous said...

I understand he must pay restitution, but what about the individuals who purchased the art? Are we to assume a great deal of them are anonymous and those works are considered lost?

Anonymous said...
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