Over a year after clients sued him and his gallery was closed, art dealer Lawrence Salander was indicted on 100 counts, including grand larceny, falsifying business records, scheming to defraud, and forgery, related to allegedly running an $88 million scam from his Upper East Side gallery.
Salander closed his gallery after lawsuits and accusations that he was running a Ponzi scheme. Some clients, such as John McEnroe, and artists accused Salander of selling their work but never paying them for it. Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau said today, “The fraud in each investment opportunity occurred when Salander did not own the work of art he offered for investment in whole or in part, or he misrepresented the actual terms of the investment." Morgenthau also joked, "This guy ought to be selling toxic loans for the government," according to Art Info, which calls Salander the "Art-World Madoff."
The NY Times reminds us how Salander rented a townhouse (for his gallery) at $154,000 a month, plus $20,000 in property taxes a month: "But he did not put down a cash deposit to secure the lease. He gave the owner a Manet that he said was worth more than $10 million." Bail for Salander, who is bankrupt, was set at $1 million.