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Hedge fund founder Steinhardt will return $70 million in looted antiquities

Hedge Fund Founder Stolen Antiquities
Posted at 1:40 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 16:40:13-05

NEW YORK (AP) — The Manhattan district attorney says billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt has agreed to turn over $70 million worth of stolen antiquities.

He will also be subject to an unprecedented lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Monday that in return, Steinhardt will not face criminal charges.

"For decades, Michael Steinhardt displayed a rapacious appetite for plundered artifacts without concern for the legality of his actions, the legitimacy of the pieces he bought and sold, or the grievous cultural damage he wrought across the globe,” said Vance in a news release. “His pursuit of ‘new’ additions to showcase and sell knew no geographic or moral boundaries, as reflected in the sprawling underworld of antiquities traffickers, crime bosses, money launderers, and tomb raiders he relied upon to expand his collection."

Vance said Steinhardt acquired pieces that were illegally smuggled out of 11 countries including Egypt, Greece, Israel, Syria, and Turkey.

According to Vance, the hedge fund manager agreed to the return all 180 seized artifacts to their rightful owners.

Steinhardt said in a prepared statement issued by his attorneys that he's pleased the investigation ended without any charges.

Steinhardt is chair of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and co-founder of Birthright Israel.