Salander employee found guilty of scheming to defraud

  • April 07, 2011 11:15

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Abstract: Landscape of Pink Fields by Robert De Niro Sr. was one of the works listed in the grand larceny charge against Leigh Morse. (Image: Manhattan District Attorney's Office)

The former director of bankrupt Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Leigh Morse, was convicted by a New York jury in a scheme that prosecutors said defrauded the estates of artists.

She was found not guilty of a grand larceny count alleging the theft of $77,000 from actor Robert De Niro Jr. whose father's estate she handled at the former Manhattan gallery.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in the statement that Morse sold more than 80 artworks, valued at $5 million, from four artists' estates, including those of Robert de Niro Sr. and Stuart Davis, but did not inform the consignors of the sales.

Telling consignors about sales was owner Lawrence Salander’s job, not Morse’s, testified another Salander employee. Jurors agreed and moved to acquit Morse on the grand larceny charge.

Morse will be sentenced in June. Her boss, Salander, pleaded guilty to 30 counts of fraud and grand larceny last year and was sentencted to up to 18 years in prison for his $120 million art scam.

Read more at Bloomberg

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