News and Press Releases

California Man Sentenced in Nearly $1,000,000 Theft

April 24, 2012

WILMINGTON, Del. - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, and James F. Yacone, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Denver, Colorado, announced today that Wyatt Yeager, 33, of California, has been sentenced to a term of 27 months incarceration, two years supervised release, and $948,505 restitution.  The sentence was imposed by Judge Leonard P. Stark on the basis of Yeager's guilty plea in January to a one count Information charging Theft of Major Artwork, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 668.

According to the Information, between January and March 2007, Wyatt Yeager embezzled $492,205 in rare coins from the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Money Museum, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  During that period, Yeager was the collections manager for the ANA Money Museum.   Yeager sold the coins at several auctions: one in Baltimore in May 2007, one in St. Louis in June 2007, and one in Melbourne, Australia in July 2007.  One of the coins sold at the Australia auction was an extremely rare 1813 "Holey" Dollar. It sold for $155,755. It is pictured below.




In  addition,  pursuant to  the plea  agreement, Yeager admitted  to  embezzling an  additional $492,535 in rare coins from the ANA Money Museum.  Yeager sold these coins at an auction in Germany.

United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III said, "These charges are the result of the joint efforts of this office and Special Agent Thomas K. Vest of the FBI Colorado Springs Resident Agency, Denver Division. The embezzlement of such a large number of rare coins is a significant crime.   Aggravating the seriousness of the offense is the fact  that the coins are cultural property, a part of our history."

James F. Yacone, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Denver, Colorado, said, "The FBI will continue to pursue those who misappropriate rare items such as the coins embezzled by Yeager and appreciates the District ofDelaware's commitment to prosecute this significant crime."

This case was prosecuted by David L. Hall, Assistant United States Attorney.  Mr. Hall has an extensive history in handling crimes involving both art and cultural property.   He is frequently sought out by investigators who know of his expertise and success in prosecuting such cases. 
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