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Man Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Stealing Rare Historical Documents

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The man who admitted to stealing thousands of valuable historical documents in Maryland and around the country is headed to jail.

Derek Valcourt has more on the sentence for Barry Landau.

Barry Landau, 64, said nothing as he left court sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the theft of more than 4,000 rare historical documents written by Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Karl Marx and Franklin D. Roosevelt, among others.

“Mr. Landau was masquerading as a presidential historian when in reality he was a con artist who had gained people’s trust and then steal their property,” U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said.

Landau and his accomplice, Jason Savedoff, were arrested in July 2011 after workers at the Maryland Historical Society spotted them trying to steal documents. Prosecutors say Landau would distract historians while Savedoff would steal the documents by stuffing them inside specially-hidden pockets they’d built into jackets.

The documents recovered from Landau’s home are valued at well over a million dollars.

“What they did is really terrible. It our national patrimony that they took,” Lee Arnold of the Pennsylvania Historical Society said.

Many of the angry historians tricked by Landau came to see sentencing for the man they call…

“A thief and a liar,” Ashley Harper of the Pennsylvania Historical Society said.

His in-court apology was not enough to change the future for the man who admitted to stealing parts of history.

Landau has been ordered to report to prison to begin his seven-year sentence on Aug. 27.

Landau’s accomplice has already pleaded guilty to his role in the thefts but has not yet been sentenced.

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