October 31, 2014

Rare Document Thief Sentenced to One Year in Prison

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From The Baltimore Sun:

The younger of two men who admitted to stealing a wealth of culturally significant documents was sentenced Friday to a year and a day in federal prison, ending the prosecution of a case that began at the Maryland Historical Society and rattled archives, museums and libraries across the continent.

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake said the sentence reflected the valuable cooperation of Jason James Savedoff, 25, in identifying and recovering thousands of stolen items. But it also reflected his participation in the thefts of materials that are part of the nation’s history and are worth up to $1 million.

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Savedoff, once an aspiring model, sat in the Baltimore courtroom with his chin down as defense attorney Larry Nathans described him as a mentally ill young man with a head full of conspiracy theories. In the spring of 2010, he met Barry H. Landau, 40 years his senior, in a gym, Nathans said.

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Federal prosecutor James Warwick credited Savedoff for helping investigators after his arrest, leading them to conduct a second search of Landau’s Manhattan apartment for items they missed. Savedoff also showed them suit coats outfitted with fake pockets used to sneak stolen documents out of archives, and he helped identify many of the items’ owners.

Warwick said Savedoff showed them how he and Landau used a variety of tools to “perform surgery” on the documents to remove markings that would have linked them to their owners.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.