Trials & Litigation

Big Salander Bankruptcy: $50M, Art at Stake

Besieged by creditor claims for $50 million, Lawrence Salander, a well-known art dealer, and his wife have filed for personal bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, law enforcement authorities in Manhattan searched an art gallery in which he has an ownership interest and the couple’s Upper East Side home last week, in a criminal investigation apparently sparked by civil litigation claims that he has fraudulently conducted unauthorized art sales and reneged upon loans, according to Bloomberg.

The Chapter 11 filing had been predicted, as creditors and customers vie to get their hands on various artworks. At a court hearing in mid-October, when a New York judge asked whether anyone among the 50 people in the courtroom had a claim on 650 artworks from the Renaissance, 10 individuals stood up, Bloomberg reported in an earlier article.

Clients of the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, such as tennis star John McEnroe, have sued Salander “claiming he pocketed all proceeds of art sold on consignment, promised guaranteed investment profits while paying back little or nothing, and reneged on loans, bills and credit-card charges,” the news agency writes.

Salander’s lawyer, John Moscow, declined to comment.

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