Upper East Side art dealer Larry Salander, the former proprietor of the Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, who has been accused by clients of perpetrating a Ponzi scheme, was arrested at his home upstate in Millbrook, New York, this morning. He was charged with 100 counts including grand larceny, falsifying business records, scheming to defraud, forgery, and perjury. The gallerist got into trouble when he borrowed money and leveraged clients' artwork to expand his operations and fell behind on payments, resulting in a barrage of lawsuits. He planned to pay it all back with one massive sale (“There was always the sense that he was going to make that one big sale that would make him liquid, and he’d pull it off,” Roland Augustine, director of the Luhring Augustine gallery, told New York last year). Instead, authorities shut down the gallery and Salander was forced to declare bankruptcy. Even after that, Salander still expected things to work out. “The art,” he told New York in 2008, “is worth much more money than I owe.” If only he actually owned it.
Photo: Hans Gissinger