Sunday, October 30, 2011

Landau Accomplice Pleads Guilty

Accused document thief Barry Landau's "assistant," Jason Savedoff, 24, entered a guilty plea on Thursday to charges of theft of major artwork and conspiracy to commit theft of major artwork. Savedoff admits that beginning in December 2010, he and Landau "compiled lists of historical and famous figures, often noting the market value of documents signed by those figures, and Savedoff identified collections with valuable documents that they could target, according to the plea. They used different routines to distract librarians and would stash documents inside sport jackets and overcoats that had been altered to add large hidden pockets."

The AP reports that following successful thefts, "Landau would fill out a checklist noting from where the document was taken, whether inventory marks had been removed and whether catalogue cards or other “finding aids” had been removed to further conceal the theft. The pair would avoid documents that had been copied onto microfilm because of the risk of detection."

Savedoff faces up to fifteen years in prison when he's sentenced in February.

Landau's attorney, stupefyingly, said that he wasn't surprised by Savedoff's plea, arguing that Landau had no idea Savedoff was storing stolen goods in Landau's apartment (where thousands of documents were found during searches). "[Landau's] disappointed that Jason Savedoff appears to be shifting his illegal acts toward Barry," the attorney said. Good luck with that strategy.

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