The Real Deal New York

Obama pardons Ian Schrager

Hotelier was convicted of tax fraud in 1980
January 18, 2017 09:30AM

Barack Obama and Ian Schrager

UPDATED: Thursday, Jan. 19 at 9:56 a.m.: It’s the end of an era in more ways than one. The outgoing president this week pardoned developer Ian Schrager over a 1980s tax evasion conviction.

In 1980, Schrager TRData LogoTINY was sentenced for tax fraud over Studio 54, the famous nightclub he co-founded with partner Steve Rubell. He served 20 months in prison, another five years on probation and had to cough up $20,000 in fines.

“Your crime is one of tremendous arrogance,” the judge told Schrager and Rubell at the time. “You fail to appreciate the true nature of the seriousness of a tax charge.”

Schrager is one of 273 people pardoned by President Barack Obama this week — a list that also includes whistleblower Chelsea Manning. He heads the Ian Schrager Company, which has developed a number of hotels since 2005 and partnered with Marriott on a boutique hotel line. The firm is currently building the West Village condo project 160 Leroy Street.

Schrager isn’t the only developer who ran into trouble over his taxes. Last year, Aby Rosen paid $7 million to settle allegations he didn’t pay taxes on $80 million in art work (he didn’t admit guilt).  And in September, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. indicted Michael Shvo on charges of evading $1.4 million in tax charges. [NYP]Konrad Putzier

Clarification: Rosen settled an Attorney General’s Office inquiry on not paying taxes on $80 million in art, but did not admit guilt.