NYC art dealer admits bilking clients

Associated Press / March 19, 2010

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NEW YORK — A New York City art dealer who catered to celebrities has admitted bilking nearly $100 million from his star-studded clientele through bogus art investment opportunities and sales of pieces he did not own.

Lawrence B. Salander, 60, pleaded guilty yesterday to grand larceny and scheming to defraud in a case that swept up tennis star John McEnroe and the estate of actor Robert De Niro’s father as victims.

Salander has been promised a prison term that is at most six to 18 years. He’s due back in court for a presentencing status update May 20.

The former art gallery owner admitted swindling McEnroe out of about $2 million and Robert De Niro Sr.’s estate out of more than $1 million. They’re among many other victims.

A judge shuttered Salander’s gallery in 2007.