in News | 08 JAN 19

Art Dealer Mary Boone Claims Early Trauma in Tax Fraud Case

‘Behind the facade of success and strength lies a fragile and, at times, broken individual’, her lawyers write

in News | 08 JAN 19

Mary Boone, 2012. Courtesy: Getty Images, FilmMagic; photograph: Michael N. Todaro

Lawyers for the art dealer Mary Boone have submitted a psychological evaluation to a Manhattan federal court, citing early life trauma. The veteran New York art dealer faces possible prison time after pleading guilty to tax fraud last year; Boone’s lawyers now say that her actions were the result of trauma, not greed, and have asked that she be spared incarceration, the New York Times reports.

Boone is due to be sentenced later in January. She pled guilty to two counts of tax fraud in September 2018, describing it as ‘the worst day of my life’. She has been charged by federal authorities with reporting a false business loss of USD$52,000 for the 2011 fiscal year, and claiming USD$1.6 million in personal expenses (including an USD$800,000 upgrade to her Manhattan residence) as tax-deductible business expenses. She faces up to six years in prison.

Boone’s lawyers have asked for home confinement and probation, and up to 1,000 hours of community service for their client. They cited the poverty and instability of Boone’s early childhood – including the loss of her father, her mother’s consequent financial problems – and the troubled effect this had on Boone in later life, including an attempt at suicide and substance abuse. ‘Behind the facade of success and strength lies a fragile and, at times, broken individual’, they wrote.

Alongside the psychological evaluation, Boone’s lawyers have also submitted 100 character statements from friends and prominent art world figures, including the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei.‘Through my contact with Mary I come to know that she is caring with a kind heart,’ Ai wrote in his reference letter to the judge.