Mary Boone, in the documentary film The Price Is Everything (2018).

New York Dealer Mary Boone Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

Dealer Mary Boone, owner of an eponymous gallery with two locations in New York, pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false federal tax returns on Wednesday, Colin Moynihan of the New York Times reports. The sixty-six-year-old, known for championing artists such as Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel at the start of their careers, will be required to appear in court in January for sentencing. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

“This is the worst day of my life,” she wrote in an email to the publication. “I have learned from my mistake and I am working very hard to put it behind me.” 

According to prosecutors, the gallerist made several false claims on her 2012 federal income tax returns. She reported that her business lost $52,000 in 2011—while it really raked in $3.7 million—and that $1.6 million in personal expenses were business deductions. Boone has agreed to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $3 million, which she evaded paying by filing fraudulent individual and corporate tax returns for the years of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan said in a statement that Boone was trying to play “a shell game” with bank accounts so that she wouldn’t have to declare her assets. “As Boone has learned, tax laws are not abstract.”

Boone opened her first gallery, a groundfloor space at 420 Broadway in SoHo, in 1977. Since then the gallery has moved to Fifth Avenue and Fifty-Seventh Street. Boone opened the doors to her second gallery at 541 West Twenty-Fourth Street in 2000.