Former Salander-O’Reilly Gallery Director Found Guilty on Fraud Charges, Not Guilty on De Niro Larceny

Another chapter ends in the case of the money-swindling Salander-O’Reilly Gallery. The gallery’s former director, Leigh Morse, who worked for Lawrence Salander, sometimes referred to as “the art world’s Bernie Madoff,” received a guilty verdict this week in the trial against her. She had been accused of defrauding the estates of artists, selling “more than 80 artworks, valued at $5 million, from four estates without notifying them” and now faces four years in prison (Salander will wind up serving somewhere between 6 and 18 years). However, on the other count she faced, alleged grand larceny for the sale of two works by painter Robert De Niro Sr., she was found not guilty. This despite the junior De Niro testifying against her in star-studded appearance in court last week. This section of the case was reportedly a major sticking point for jurors, who deliberated for several days before handing down their verdict. Found by way of Art Info, one of the jurors said he definitely thought Morse was guilty, but couldn’t convince his fellow jurors. According to Reuters, Morse will remain free on bail until June 3rd, when she is sentenced.

Publish date: April 8, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT