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Press Release

Delaware Man Charged in Artifact Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – Michael Rohana, 23, of Bear, DE, was charged today by indictment[1]  of theft of major artwork from a museum, concealment of major artwork stolen from  museum and interstate transportation of stolen property. According to the indictment, on, December 21, 2017, Rohana stole from the Franklin Institute, a piece (“the Thumb”) from one of the terracotta sculptures dating from 210 to 209 B.C. Rohana then transported the Thumb from Philadelphia to his home in Bear, Delaware.

If convicted, Rohana faces a maximum term of thirty years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a $750,000 fine.  

This case was brought to the immediate attention of authorities by the Franklin Institute. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Art Crime Team and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney KT Newtown.


[1]An Indictment or Information is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated March 14, 2018