Judd Tully details the latest charges on ArtInfo.com against Lawrence Salander and Leigh Morse, his former gallery director:
The latest round of felony charges includes three counts of grand larceny in the first degree and one count of falsifying business records in the first degree; potential sentencing includes up to 25 years in prison for the grand larceny and up to four years for the other charge.
The most serious charges against Salander and his once lofty gallery, which was housed in a landmark palazzo on the Upper East Side, stem from the alleged theft of more than $1 million in art from each of the estates and foundations of figurative sculptors Elie Nadelman and Gaston Lachaise and the painter Robert de Niro, Sr., father of the famed actor, all of which took place over a 10-year period beginning in the mid-1990s.
The consigned works were sold or traded by the gallery, in some cases to pay back overdue bills, but the consignors were never paid the amounts owed them.
Both Lachaise and Nadelman are represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Major works such as Lachaise’s grandly scaled bronze female nude Floating Figure and Nadelman’s carved figure Seated Woman were part of Salander’s first-class art holdings.
According to the most recent indictment, the estates/foundations “owned a number of works either sold by the Gallery without any notice, or sold without proper payment due to misrepresentations made by Salander as to the status of payments due the Gallery.”
As to Morse’s culpability, the indictment states that “rather than communicate the truthful information to the respective estates, Morse intentionally misled them or failed to disclose the true status of their works.”
Salander Faces Second Round of Charges (ArtInfo.com)