Art Market

The legendary art dealer Mary Boone was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Nate Freeman
Feb 14, 2019 8:52PM, via Artsy

Mary Boone. Photo by Carly Otness/MACKME.COM, via Flickr.

Iconic New York gallery owner Mary Boone was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Thursday. She had pleaded guilty in September to charges that she falsified her expenses to give the impression that the gallery was losing money. The sentencing put to end months of speculation on whether the judge would incarcerate Boone; the prosecution had recommended the dealer serve 30 to 37 months in prison, while Boone and her attorneys begged the judge to avoid incarceration.

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said he was confident that Boone had learned her lesson and would not commit tax fraud again. But he also said that to let her go without a prison sentence could embolden others to commit similar crimes.

“You can’t have people, after they’re caught, avoiding punishment by doing good works,” he said. “When a person takes advantage of the things he or she can do to avoid paying taxes in a fraudulent way, there must be consequences.”

The judge ordered Boone to surrender no later than 2 p.m. on May 15th. Following her 30-month sentence—likely to be served in the women’s camp at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut—Boone will be under supervision for another year, during which time she will have to perform 180 hours of community service. Judge Hellerstein specified that she is to perform services related to the arts and art education. Boone’s attorney said she has no plans to appeal.

Further Reading: The Rise and Fall of Mary Boone

Benjamin Sutton contributed reporting.

Nate Freeman