Fraudulent dealer's 'Mission from God'

March 11 2011

Image of Fraudulent dealer's 'Mission from God'

More details are emerging about Lawrence Salander, of the Salander O'Reilly gallery in New York, better known as the Bernie Madoff of the art world. He had a habit of selling multiple half shares in paintings, and then never telling the owners when he had sold them. He pleaded guilty last year and was jailed, but by doing so avoided a full trial. Now, in the trial of his staff, the full workings of his business are starting to emerge.

No less than Robert de Niro is to testify at the trial of Leigh Morse, Salander's former gallery director. Salander sold a whole batch of paintings by de Niro's father, not only without the actor's permission, but without ever paying him. Andrew Kelly, Salander's former assistant, is also testifying and said his former employer was 'on a mission from God to enlighten the world' whilst busily 'cooking the books' with fraudulent invoices. 

You can keep tabs on the trial via Bloomberg, here.

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