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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Alleged Document Thief Indicted

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury returned a four count superseding indictment charging Daniel Witek, 52, of Buffalo NY, with three counts of mail fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen goods.  Each count of mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The interstate transportation of stolen goods charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that according to the superseding indictment, in the spring of 2013, the defendant was a volunteer at the Buffalo History Museum. While volunteering at the museum, Witek devised a scheme to access and steal certain historical writings addressed to Anson Conger Goodyear that belonged to the museum. The defendant then offered to sell the stolen documents to one autograph dealer in New York City and one in New Jersey. 

The defendant was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr. and released.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, which includes representatives of the Amherst Police Department; the Buffalo Police Department; U.S. Border Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Cheektowaga Police Department; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department; the Hamburg Police Department; the Lancaster Police Department; the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police; the New York State Department of Correctional Services; the New York State Police; and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, and the United States Secret Service under the direction of Special Agent in Charge C. Todd Laster.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Updated September 11, 2015