Barry Landau yesterday pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft charges related to stealing historical documents from several institutions along the east coast. In December 2011, Landau’s attorney filed a motion to suppress evidence of the crime found by federal agents. But yesterday Landau entered a plea agreement with the Maryland United States Attorney’s Office. Sentencing will be held on May 7, 2012 [UPDATE: Rescheduled to June 27, 2012].
Landau admitted in his plea in federal district court to taking historical documents from museums in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut and selling some for financial gain. His accomplice, Jason Savedoff pleaded guilty to the same charges in October 2011.
|Documents by Alexander Hamilton|
were stolen by Landau and Savedoff.
Library of Congress image.
Items taken included papers by prominent figures in American history, including John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln. The documents’ historical value is priceless. On the open market, some of the papers fetched high sums. For example, four reading copies of speeches by Franklin Roosevelt sold for $35,000.
Both Landau and Savedoff face sentences of up to five years in prison for conspiracy and 10 years for theft.