Presidential Historian Indicted On Federal Charges
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A grand jury indicted two men accused of stealing documents from the Maryland Historical Society. One of them is a renown presidential historian and author.
Andrea Fujii has details of the charges against Barry Landau and Jason Savedoff.
Federal investigators widen the net as a grand jury indictment expands beyond Maryland.
Documents stolen from the Maryland Historical Society are considered objects of cultural heritage.
Presidential historian Landau, 63, and his 24-year-old assistant Savedoff are charged with stealing a Lincoln document worth $300,000, inaugural invitations valued at $100,000, and an equally valuable Washington Monument commemoration.
And according to the indictment, Maryland is just part of the territory covered. It includes contact at the Pennsylvania Historical Society, theft from the New York Historical Society and contact in Connecticut.
The inspector general of the National Archives has characterized the scope of this case as breathtaking.
U.S Attorney Rod Rosenstein tells WJZ these allegations send a wake-up call to museums across the country.
“It’s unusual to get an allegation of this scope, and we are currently working with museums up and down the East Coast and with dealers in valuable documents to try to identify any other documents the defendants might have stolen and sold,” Rosenstein said.
Landau has appeared on various network programs as an expert on presidential artifacts. His lawyer, who spoke to WJZ this week, says he has no comment yet on the indictment.
Both suspects live in New York.
If convicted, they face up to five years on the conspiracy count and 10 years in prison for theft of documents.
Anyone with information that might relate to this case is asked to contact the FBI.