New York sues Sotheby’s over unpaid sales taxes

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EconomyNov 06, 2020 02:35PM ET

© Reuters. A sign marking Sotheby’s headquarters is seen on the Upper East Side of New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s attorney general said on Friday she has sued auction house Sotheby’s for allegedly defrauding the state out of millions of dollars in unpaid sales taxes.

Letitia James accused Sotheby’s of arranging false tax exemption certificates, known as resale certificates, for an art collector and major client though it knew the collector was not eligible for the exemption.

James said the art collector’s company, Porsal Equities Ltd, reached a $10.75 million settlement with the state in Nov. 2018 to resolve tax fraud allegations related to the purchase of more than $50 million of art and other goods.

Sotheby’s did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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