Katya Kazakina has details of the charges against art collector and real-estate-broker-turned-developer Michael Shvo—who was behind the Getty Station installation and the building of the same name that followed—in yet another New York DA’s art tax investigation:
Shvo allegedly used several methods to avoid taxes. He’s accused of fraudulently using a New York resale certificate to buy more than $65,000 in jewelry for his wife and furniture for his office. The certificates are intended for dealers who buy items solely for resale and don’t have to pay taxes.
When he bought a new Ferrari 458 Spider from an out-of-state dealer, Shvo allegedly established a limited liability company in Montana — Seren LLC, named after his wife — and registered the sports car to the company. But Seren conducted no business in Montana and the car was driven in New York, Vance said.
In another instance, Shvo Art Ltd., evaded at least $275,000 in state and city taxes on profits from the sale of fine art and furniture, according to Vance. Between 2010 and 2016, Shvo claimed the company and its assets were located offshore when the business was really at his offices and homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons, prosecutors said.
Two others were also charged. They allegedly aided in a plot to provide auction houses and galleries with shipping documentation that deliberately misrepresented Shvo’s purchases.