EBay y Todocoleccion son un verdadero escaparate de libros, documentos y manuscritos de dudoso origen. No es difícil encontrar los más diversos documentos notariales, manuscritos, libros antiguos y raros, incunables, postincunables, primeras ediciones antiguas y modernas, innumerables hojas sueltas y láminas, y un largo etcétera salpicado de interrogantes. ¿De dónde proceden muchos de esos libros? ¿Qué pasa si compramos un artículo robado de esta naturaleza?
En EEUU, eBay recompra esos artículos y los devuelve a las instituciones de las que fueron sustraídos.
by MICHAEL GORMLEY,
Associated Press Writer
Sat Feb 9, 1:08 PM ET
Documents dating from the Civil War and others to and from Theodore and
Franklin Roosevelt are among hundreds of stolen documents sold online that
eBay is agreeing to buy back and return to New York’s archives, a state
official said Saturday.
The online auction giant has no liability in the sale of the stolen
artifacts, but agreed voluntarily to offer buyers the amount that they paid,
according to the official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because
not all details of the investigation have been announced.
“We believe that when people realize they bought stolen artifacts they will
step forward and do the right thing,” the state official said. The official
said the buyers appear not to have known the documents were stolen and so
wouldn’t face criminal charges. Cuomo and eBay will contact the buyers, the
state official said.
In January, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation found that
about 200 documents had been stolen from the archives and sold in the past
two years. Checking through the buyer and seller comments in those eBay
sales revealed that 200 other documents had been sold since 2001, according
to the official.
The total cost of buying back the documents for which eBay has sales records
is estimated at $68,000. The offer by eBay means the state won’t have to
spend money to buy the records. If there is a conviction, a court could
Usher Lieberman, an eBay spokesman, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
In January, Cuomo charged Daniel Lorello, 54, an archives and records
management specialist in the state Department of Education, with stealing
items from the archives.
Lorello, of Rensselaer near Albany, pleaded not guilty to charges of grand
larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and scheme to defraud and
was released awaiting trial. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
Among the items stolen were Davy Crockett Almanacs – popular 19th century
pamphlets about the frontier hero’s exploits – that sold for more than
$5,000; artifacts associated with the Revolutionary, Civil and Mexican wars,
black Americana and items related to both Roosevelts and to Jewish
The state was alerted to the theft and sales by a history buff, Virginia
attorney Joseph Romito, who noticed the sale on eBay of a four-page letter
by former Vice President John Calhoun that he knew belonged to the New York
State Library and Archives. That letter was sold for $1,800.