Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Dozens of artifacts wind up on EBay

A New York state archivist is accused of stealing and selling historic items.

January 29, 2008|From the Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A long-time state archivist was accused Monday of stealing hundreds of historic artifacts and documents from the New York State Library, including two Davy Crockett Almanacs, and selling some on EBay.

Daniel Lorello, 54, an archives and records management specialist in the state Education Department since 1979, was arraigned Monday on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and scheme to defraud.

He was released on his own recognizance and placed on administrative leave from his $71,732-a-year job with the department, which runs the state library. Lorello made no comment as he left court and a message left on his answering machine was not returned.

Lorello also allegedly stole a signed 1823 letter from former Vice President John Calhoun that generated bids of up to $1,700 during an EBay auction that was monitored by investigators. Other items allegedly stolen by Lorello included a Winfield Scott Hancock calling card and Currier and Ives colored lithographs, according to the state attorney general's office.

"These irreplaceable documents are the property of all New Yorkers," said state Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo.

Joseph Romito, a lawyer and history buff in Richmond, Va., tipped authorities off after he spotted one of the items for sale on EBay and realized it was supposed to belong to New York state.

After searching the suspect's home this past weekend, officials found hundreds of documents and artifacts belonging to the state. Officials believe the thefts go back to 2002, Cuomo spokesman John Milgram said.

It's unclear how much Lorello may have profited. In some cases he went to trade shows and exchanged the state's items for others, authorities said. But officials said in just two sales of Davy Crockett Almanacs he received more than $5,000.

Altogether, officials at the attorney general's office said his profits could be in the "tens of thousands."

EBay is working with New York officials to obtain the past sales records from Lorello's account.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|