Mobster Possibly Linked to Gardner Museum Heist Pleads Guilty

  • Johannes Vermeer, The Concert (ca.  1664), stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

    Johannes Vermeer, The Concert (ca. 1664), stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.

A wheelchair-bound, 76-year-old Connecticut mobster pleaded guilty to weapons and prescription drug charges in a case that exposed him as possibly knowing about the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

The largest art theft in history, which included 13 stolen masterworks worth half a billion dollars, is still unsolved. The FBI has indicated that the elderly mobster Robert Gentile might be linked to the Boston museum theft.

Gentile's hearing at the U.S. District Court in Hartford was for illegally possessing and selling prescription drugs and illegally possessing guns, silencers and ammunition as a convicted felon.

His connection to the Gardner heist was not mentioned until after the hearing when his lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, said, "Unfortunately for the art world, he is the last, best hope of retrieving the paintings."

McGuigan says that Gentile does not know about the theft, but was acquainted with people who federal authorities believe were involved. Most of those people are now dead, according to Gentile.

"And now he's paying price for not knowing," says McGuigan of his client.

Gentile has cooperated with federal investigators in their attempt to find the stolen art and testified before a grand jury looking into the heist, his lawyer says.

A $5 million reward is offered for the return of the Gardner's artwork.

More News Feed Headlines

Mallett's booth at the 2014 San Francisco Fall Antiques Show.  Brodie Neill's Glacier Chair at center.

Gold Rush at the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

  • October 27, 2014 23:13

A six-pound gold nugget and an 800-pound glass chair were big draws at a dazzling edition of the ...

Read More

Damien Hirst at White Cube during Frieze Week 2014.

Hirst's Formaldehyde Fish, Warhol's Scream Lure Buyers at Frieze

  • October 23, 2014 22:57

Damien Hirst's formaldehyde fish ranked among the top sales during a $2.2 billion Frieze Week in London.

Read More

Rendering of the National Museum of the United States Army, set to be built at Fort Belvoir, Va.

U.S. Army Readies to Buy Trove of World War I Artworks

  • October 22, 2014 22:33

The U.S. Army has petitioned for $600,000 to acquire a collection of 23 artworks created at the battlefronts of World War I. The rare group of paintings are by...

Read More

Louis Béroud (1852-1930) View of the Salle Rubens musée du Louvre, 1904.

Painting Missing from Louvre Since WWII Surfaces in Auction

  • October 21, 2014 16:28

A painting of the French king Henri III (1551-89) that disappeared from the Louvre during the Second World War turned up at a Paris auction last week

Read More

Related Press Releases

95954787

ArtfixDaily Artwire