Press/Journalists

Antonin DeHays Sentenced for Thefts from the National Archives
Press Release · Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Washington, DC

 

Washington, DC – Antonin DeHays yesterday received 364 days in prison and three years on probation, eight months of which are to be served in home confinement, along with 100 hours of community service, for the theft of records from the National Archives.

Judge Theodore D. Chuang sentenced DeHays at the U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, also ordering him to pay $43,456.96 restitution to those who unknowingly purchased the stolen goods. Chuang said DeHays committed “an egregious, morally repugnant crime” of “auctioning of our history to the highest bidder.”

DeHays, a private researcher, stole and sold identification tags and related items from files of American servicemen whose planes were downed in Europe during World War II, as well as other original records from the National Archives at College Park.

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said he was pleased that Judge Chuang gave DeHays a stiff punishment for his crimes: “His sentence sends a strong message to others who may contemplate stealing our nation’s history. The theft of records from the National Archives amounts to stealing from the American people, and it merits a severe penalty whenever it occurs.”

Archivist Ferriero added: “I remain shocked and angered that a historian would show such disregard for records and artifacts. As a veteran, I am disgusted that anyone would steal records and artifacts documenting those captured or killed in the service of their nation.”  The Archivist stressed that “The security of the holdings of the National Archives is my highest priority” and pledged to “continuously improve our policies and procedures to ensure our holdings are safe.”

“When a theft does occur, we rely on the Office of the Inspector General and the Justice Department to build a case and bring the perpetrator to justice,” the Archivist said. “I want to thank them for their hard work.”

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This page was last reviewed on April 10, 2018.
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