Alabama Woman Pleads Guilty to Transporting Stolen Ben Franklin Bust
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2012|
PHILADELPHIA—Andrea Lawton, 46, of Mobile, Alabama, pleaded guilty today to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property in connection with the theft, on August 24, 2012, of a rare bust of Benjamin Franklin valued at approximately $3 million. Lawton fled with the stolen property, eventually ending up in Alabama, where she made plans to sell the bust. She was arrested after taking a bus to Elkton, Maryland, where IRS and FBI agents recovered the bust.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 12, 2013. Lawton faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lower Merion Police Department, and the United States Marshals Service, and it is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Khan.