In what has probably become the most celebrated case of the theft of antique maps in recent years, antique maps dealer E. Forbes Smiley III pleaded guilty last week in federal court in New Haven to charges of theft of major artwork. He later entered a similar plea in state court. The total value of maps stolen by Smiley has been estimated at more than $3 million.
Smiley was arrested last year as he left Yale’s Beinecke Library, and was found to have rare maps in his possession, which were later proven to have been stolen from the library.
Sentencing in the federal case has been set for September 21. Smiley faces up to ten years in prison on the federal charges, in addition to substantial fines.