Mana Contemporary Arts Center director charged with allegedly dodging $ 7.8 million in taxes

The longtime executive of the contemporary art center Mana in New Jersey has been dismissed from his post after being charged with orchestrating a multi-million dollar tax evasion scheme.

Eugene Lemay, an artist who founded the initiative and served as executive director of the Jersey City venue, has been “placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing action against him,” a Mana Common spokesperson , the parent company of Mana Contemporary. , said Artnet News. The representative declined to share any additional information on the status of the arts hub, including whether or not it has established interim leadership.

Mana Contemporary — founded by Lemay with support from real estate developer Moishe Mana — is a cultural center, warehouse, studio and exhibition space that immediately made waves when it opened in 2011. Since its founding, it has s ‘is expanded to locations in Miami and Chicago.

Last month, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York City accused Lemay and fellow accountant Joel Lingat of evading more than $ 7.8 million in federal payroll taxes while helping run a unidentified moving and storage. The Jersey City Weather has since confirmed that the company is Moishe’s Moving Systems, owned by the eponymous Mana.

Moishe Mana [L] and Eugène Lemay [R] at Mana Contemporary Gallerist’s Party, December 2014 © Patrick McMullan. Photo: Erik Puotinen / patrickmcmullan.com.

From 2010 to 2016, US Attorney Damian Williams said in a declaration, Lingat and Lemay “have set up a scheme consisting in paying shell companies and wrongly classifying workers as independent contractors in order to avoid… social charges”.

Now the men each face one count of conspiring to defraud the IRS, carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Lemay would also have “engaged in criminal bickering” to avoid personal income tax in 2014 and 2015, according to the announcement of the lawyer. For that, the former director of Mana faces two additional charges of tax evasion, each with its own maximum stay of five years in prison.

Lemay was the first employee Mana hired when Moishe’s Moving Systems launched in 1983. The company helped catapult Mana to billionaire status, and Lemay, to which the New York Times as Mana’s right-hand man, remained with the company, holding the title of chairman for the seven years mentioned in the dossier.

Lemay’s lawyer did not immediately respond to Artnet News’ request for comment.

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William E. Bennett

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