Art Dealer Tries to Paint a Different Picture of Her Income

Mary Boone, a prominent art gallery owner in NYC, who was once called “Queen of the Art Scene” by New York magazine, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on charges of filing false tax returns.

Boone pled guilty to the charges for filing both personal and business false returns. Prosecutors said that Boone had reported false business losses and used  over $1.6 million of business funds to pay personal expenses, including $793,003 to remodel her Manhattan apartment, beauty salon purchases of $24,380, $14,00 on Hermés products and $5,000 on items from Louis Vuitton, which she wrote off as business deductions.  She also falsely inflated the gallery expenses, and in 2011, transferred $9.5 million from one business bank account to another and reported the account transfers as tax-deductible business expenses by providing falsified check registers to her accountant.

Boone opened her first gallery in 1977, showcasing young and upcoming artists, and as her business and name grew, moved the gallery to Midtown and opened another space in Chelsea.

In 2016, Boone was sued by actor Alec Baldwin, who alleged that Boone knowingly sold him a fake Ross Bleckner painting. That case was settled out of court, with Boone paying Baldwin “a seven-figure sum.”