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

Ancient Etruscan Kalpis returned to Italy from the Toledo Museum of Art collection.

U.S. Returns Valuable Trove of Antiquities to Italy

  • May 26, 2015 14:59

American investigators relieved some American collections of looted antique artifacts worth ...

Read More

Kennardphillipps recreation of Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

Andrew Wyeth's Iconic Image Remade with Oil Spill by UK Artists in Shell Protest

  • May 26, 2015 14:59

The open field and quaint house depicted in Andrew Wyeth's famous painting "Christina's World" ...

Read More

"Tania Bruguera" by Lia Villares.

Artist Tania Bruguera Among 163 Detained in Cuba's Weekend Crackdown

  • May 25, 2015 20:12

Artist Tania Bruguera and over 160 others were arrested in Cuba over the weekend as part of the ...

Read More

Stage of the Amphitheater, Palmyra

ISIS Controls Museum, Historic Sites in Palmyra After Deadly Takeover

  • May 24, 2015 21:39

Syria's ancient town of Palmyra was seized by Islamic State militants last week. Reports on ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Clarke NY Auction: June 1 at 4 PM

ArtfixDaily Artwire