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Christie’s, New York. Photo: Wikipedia.
Christie’s, New York. Photo: Wikipedia.

Christie’s Faces $16.7 Million Fine over Tax Violations

Following a years-long investigation, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that it has reached a settlement with Christie’s over the auction house’s failure to register to collect New York and local sales tax on purchases made in or delivered to the state between 2013 and 2017. As part of the deferred prosecution agreement, Christie’s London, Christie’s Private Sales, and other affiliated Christie’s entities will pay up to $16.7 million in sales tax, penalties, and interest to the state of New York over a two-year period.

“This case sends a clear message: those who violate our tax law will be held accountable,” said New York State commissioner of taxation and finance Michael Schmidt. “The funds recovered today will do a lot of good in local communities. I thank district attorney Vance and his team for their work on this case. We will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners to ensure a level playing field for taxpayers across the state.”

Commenting on the investigation, Cy Vance said: “Thanks to our unique expertise and our prosecutors’ hard work, the Manhattan DA’s Office is again delivering millions of dollars in badly-needed revenue to the people of New York. Aggressive, proactive, white-collar investigations like this one have enabled us to send more than $2 billion to New York State since 2010, and have put multinational companies across the world on notice that the privilege of doing business in Manhattan comes with the obligation to comply with our tax, business, and criminal laws. I thank our prosecutors and investigators for their persistence in completing this meticulous investigation under the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”