Friday, March 29, 2013

Former FBI Special Agent And Stolen Art Expert Doubts Philly Mob's Art Connection

Veteran organized crime reporter George Anastasia offers a piece in on the story that possibly the Philadelphia mob has the stolen art from the famous Gardner Museum theft (see the above photo).

The bottom line is that the Philadelphia  mob has always been a bottom-line kind of outfit.

So if mob boss Joe Ligambi or any of his associates had information about the art work  stolen from a Boston museum 23 years ago, they would have cashed that info in for the $5 million reward.

That, at least, is the view of Robert Wittman, a retired FBI agent who specialized in art theft and who spent the bulk of his career working out of the FBI’s Philadelphia office.

“I sat next to the organized crime squad guys,” Wittman said in a telephone interview from his suburban Philadelphia office this week. “If they had heard anything, I would have known about it. We didn’t hear a thing.”The FBI in Boston announced last week that it now knew who was behind the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum back in 1990. But authorities did not disclose the names of the suspects.
Instead, they hinted at mob connections to both the heist and attempts to move the $500 million in priceless art work that was stolen. The take included  a Vermeer, a Manet, three Rembrandt's and five works by Degas.
The FBI announcement included speculation that the art was being “shopped” in the Philadelphia area 10 years ago and that some local mobsters were trying to expedite the sale. 
Wittman said he’s “skeptical.”
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:
You can read an earlier post on the art theft via the below link:
You can also check former FBI Special Agent Robert Wittman's book Priceless: How I Went Undercover To Rescue The World's Stolen Treasures. 

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