Wyatt Yeager, a former collections manager for the Colorado Springs-based American Numismatic Association pleaded guilty today in Federal District Court to stealing 300 historic coins and artwork valued at nearly $1 million.
The Numismatic Association, a trade organization for money collectors and scholars that runs at the local museum, said that Yeager, now 33 years old, was the museum’s collections manager from January-March of 2007.
In October 2007, museum officials discovered the missing items, which included an Australian 1813 Holey Dollar, a 1795 Half Eagle and an 1836 Gobrecht Dollar.
An extensive FBI investigation authorities to find Yeager in to Ireland, but by the time they had caught up with him, he had sold many of the coins.
A list of stolen items can be found at www.money.org, by scrolling over the “Communications” dropdown menu and selecting “Museum Theft.” A link to the U.S. Department of Justice press release and indictment will be available on the site.
Yeager faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release following any term of imprisonment.
The Numismatic Association did not offer details about how nearly $1 million in merchandise was able to walk out their doors but said the incident has prompted it to upgrade its security systems.