Doug Chrismas, founder of LA’s Ace Gallery, found guilty of embezzling $260,000

ACE Gallery Los Angeles occupies the 2nd floor of 5514 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, California. Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

On Friday, a Los Angeles jury found art dealer Doug Chrismas guilty of embezzling $260,000 from Ace Gallery’s bankruptcy estate. His sentence hearing is scheduled for 9 September and could see him face a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

Ace Gallery filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2013, and proceedings continued until 2016 throughout which Chrismas remained the gallery’s president, trustee and custodian. ARTNews reports during this time, ‘that prosecutors said Chrismas embezzled $264,595 from the bankruptcy estate by writing checks to the Ace Museum, a nonprofit corporation that Chrismas owned and controlled, and securing funds owed the gallery from previous sales, some of which was given to Ace Museum’s landlord for the space’s $225,000 monthly rent’. Chrismas was arrested in 2021 and released on a $50,000 bond.

Chrismas set up his first LA gallery space in the late 1960s, and would go on to feature artists like Richard Sera, Michael Heizer, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol. Chrismas has been plagued with allegations of ethical misconduct since the 1970s that include fabricating artists’ works, financial mismanagement and withholding unsold art and payments.

Most recent


We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy.