The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, September 24, 2021


Ace Gallery founder arrested on embezzlement charges
Chrismas organized important early exhibitions at his gallery for such artists as Robert Irwin (pictured above), Michael Heizer, Tim Hawkinson and Mary Corse. Alex Marks/The New York Times.

by Jori Finkel



LOS ANGELES (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Art dealer Douglas Chrismas, who has a decadeslong track record of discovering major artists and an equally lengthy history of not paying artists in full for their sales, has been arrested on charges of embezzlement.

Chrismas, 77, surrendered to FBI agents Tuesday and was released on a $50,000 bond. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison. A trial date has been set for Sept. 21.

The indictment, filed on March 16, 2020, was unsealed Tuesday. In it, Chrismas is accused of redirecting about $265,000 in funds from the bankruptcy estate of Ace Gallery, which he opened in Los Angeles in 1967, to a separate corporation that he owned.

Chrismas’ bankruptcy lawyer, Jonathan Shenson, did not respond to requests for comment this week and it was not clear who was representing Chrismas in the criminal case.

Chrismas organized important early exhibitions at his gallery for such artists as Robert Irwin, Michael Heizer, Tim Hawkinson and Mary Corse. But many of his relationships with artists soured over his missing payments to them for sold artworks and his failure to return unsold pieces. The gallery filed for bankruptcy in 2013.




He continued to run the gallery until 2016, when a reorganization plan was approved by the court. A bankruptcy trustee, Sam Leslie, was placed in charge of the business, which then consisted of a Beverly Hills branch and a mid-Wilshire location. (Both spaces have since closed.)

Leslie, who has a specialty in forensic accounting, has spent much of his time at Ace sorting through the gallery’s financial transactions and fine art inventory to figure out who was owed what. According to a report Leslie filed with the court in May 2016, he discovered that from February 2013 through February 2016, Chrismas had directed about $16.9 million from the Los Angeles business to Ace New York, a short-lived gallery branch that had closed years earlier. Of that sum, the report said, about $4.59 million was diverted to an entity known as the Ace Museum.

Leslie’s efforts to recover those funds for creditors is ongoing. “The bankruptcy case is still open and Sam Leslie is still acting as CEO,” his lawyer, Carolyn Dye, said by phone Wednesday.

Dye also noted that there was a pending lawsuit filed by Leslie against Chrismas and other defendants over “these diversions of cash arising from sales of inventory.”

Asked about the difference in dollar amounts between the civil and criminal cases, Dye responded, “You can safely say that the specific criminal charges in the indictment were low-hanging fruit.”

“But in addition to that,” she added, “the Department of Justice was provided mountains of documents that verified the $16 million-plus of cash diversions, including proceeds of sales not paid to artists.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

July 31, 2021

How the Guggenheim got its groove back

Ace Gallery founder arrested on embezzlement charges

The National Gallery of Art acquires works by Friedrich Sustris and Arthur Wesley Dow

Murals at a San Francisco school should stay for now, judge says

'Alice Neel: People Come First'

Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to retire

Guggenheim Museum curators move to join a union

Smithsonian American Art Museum receives $2.1 million from the Windgate Foundation

The Menil Collection opens 'Enchanted: Visual Histories of the Central Andes'

Fourth suicide at the Vessel leads to calls for higher barriers

Frankenthaler Foundation commits $10M to promote climate change action in visual arts

National Museum of the American Indian repatriates two objects to the Siksika Nation

Joslyn Art Museum reveals design for New Rhonda and Howard Hawks Pavilion

Talbot Rice Gallery presents 'Emeka Ogboh: Song of the Union in Edinburgh'

Broadway audiences will need proof of vaccination and masks

Chemould Prescott Road opens an exhibition of works by one of India's greatest abstractionist painters

Floyd Cooper, illustrator of Black life for children, dies at 65

How to celebrate the 200th birthday of a man everyone knows and no one knows

On the road with Ballet Theatre. Who needs red velvet seats.

Embracing vintage cars in the Catskills

Olympic Games inspired large-scale robotic art installation unveiled in Tokyo by Jason Bruges Studio

Museums present 'A Living Language: Cherokee Syllabary and Contemporary Art'

Willie McCovey's Estate rounds home at Heritage Auctions in August

How Architects play a key role in Home Construction

How Architects can reduce building construction cost?

Role of architects in building a Home

Top 5 Virtual Mailbox Services




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful