McEnroe Loses Millions in Art Scam

Posted on March 26, 2009

50-year-old John McEnroe says he is too old to keep pining away on the senior tennis circuit, but he may keep at it out of necessity after losing millions in an art scam that was revealed on Thursday.

McEnroe was scammed along with various investment firms, other art dealers and the Bank of America in an $88 million art investment scam by art dealer Lawrence Salander, who was arrested at his New York home on Thursday.

Salander was indicted on 100 counts, including grand larceny and securities fraud, according to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau who held a news conference Thursday.

McEnroe reportedly invested $2 million for a half share of two paintings but never recouped his investment.

"He sold artwork not owned by him and kept the money, and lured investment money in fraudulent investment opportunities," Morgenthau said, according to Reuters.

Renaissance Art Investors lost $45 million and Earl Davis, the son of American painter Stuart Davis, lost $6.7 million, and Bank of America lost $2 million after Salander fraudulently secured a loan from the institution.

McEnroe first opened a by-appointment-only gallery in New York's SoHo district in 1994, soon after divorcing actress Tatum O'Neal.

"I love art," McEnroe told The Independent at the time. "It's something I enjoy. I see this as a learning process. After five years, if I could be at the level where I'm respected as someone who's trying to champion the idea of art, that's what I want to be. I want to try to help artists, especially younger artists."