Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weber Pleads

As expected, Lester Weber has entered a guilty plea. The Daily Press reports that Weber admitted to the significant thefts from the Mariners' Museum (he stole almost 1,500 items and sold them on eBay for more than $160,000), mail fraud, and filing a false tax return (all felonies). He'll be sentenced on 7 November, until which time he's free on bond. "Weber's wife, Lori Childs, attempted to plead guilty to the same charges last month, but [U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach] Smith ordered a psychiatric evaluation to determine her competency to enter the plea."

A spokesperson for the Newport News prosecutor's office told the paper that some of the items stolen from the museum, including nearly a hundred artifacts from the Titanic, have been recovered and will be returned.

Hopefully Travis will chime in soon on what the sentence should look like.

[Update: Travis has indeed chimed in, here. He notes that the theft charge could be sentenced under the guidelines covering Theft of, Damage to, or Destruction of, Cultural Heritage Resources (which would add time to the sentence compared to a regular old Theft).]