LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – A Long Beach man who is currently in custody in France was indicted today on federal charges for allegedly taking two violins that had been stolen from a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Paris, where he attempted to sell them.
Anthony Eugene Notarstefano, 43, was charged with foreign transportation of stolen goods and possession of stolen goods.
Court documents allege that on February 25 Notarstefano traveled from Los Angeles to Europe for the purpose of selling two stolen violins. Notarstefano transported the stolen violins from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, and then to Paris, where he allegedly attempted to sell the instruments at several music stores.
The violins were stolen from the Hollywood home of violinist Mark Kashper, whose residence was burglarized on either December 22 or 23 last year. The burglar took a Carlo Tononi violin, which is owned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is valued at approximately $225,000. The burglar also took a Jean Baptise Vuillaume violin, valued at approximately $65,000; a Tourte bow valued at approximately $30,000; as well as several other items.
According to court documents, Notarstefano went to several music stores on Paris’ Rue de Rome and offered the two stolen violins for sale for 50,000 euros, which is approximately $65,000. After one merchant discovered on the Internet that the violins were stolen, he summoned Paris police, who arrested Notarstefano. French authorities have charged Notarstefano and he is awaiting trial.
It is anticipated that the French will deport Notarstefano to the United States once their case is concluded.
The two charges contained in the indictment carry a cumulative maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.
The case is the result of an investigation by the Art Crime Team of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy C. Kim
Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Heidel
Release No. 07-059