Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 38 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/21/21

The very rich get very special 'justice'

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bob Gaydos
Become a Fan
  (15 fans)

Steinhardt Collection to return stolen antiquities.
Steinhardt Collection to return stolen antiquities.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: NewsRme)
  Details   DMCA

By Bob Gaydos

This is a story about how the rich often get special treatment from our justice system. There is also a footnote to the story which raises at least some hope that the rich-get-off-easy scenario may soon be amended.

First, a favor for the rich guy.

Michael Steinhardt, a billionaire who is used to having pretty much anything he wants, recently got an early birthday present from Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr.: A stay-out-of-jail card.

The gift came with a message, a stern warning if you will: Tsk, tsk, Michael. You know better than that. Now round up all those weird old things cluttering up all your homes and give them back to their rightful owners. And don't ever do that again. (Signed), Cy

Steinhardt's lawyer said his client, a hedge fund founder who has been accused of sexual harassment in the past, was "pleased" with Vance's gift. Most rich people Vance lets off the hook usually are.

As he prepares to retire, Vance provided one more piece of evidence confirming that his scales of justice are weighted heavily in favor of the rich.

Steinhardt, described in news accounts as a philanthropist and collector of antiquities, was ordered to return some $70 million worth of those antiquities to their rightful owners. People from whom they were stolen, in other words. The people of 11 nations, actually.

He was also told to refrain from this practice, or else. The "or else" part was not spelled out. Two days

After Vance's announcement, Steinhardt celebrated his 81st birthday, presumably suitably chastised.

This "punishment" for aggressively seeking, purchasing and possessing 180 pieces of stolen property

was the culmination of a four-year investigation by the Antiquities Trafficking Unit of the Manhattan prosecutor's office. It involved investigators and officials in the following countries: Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Turkey, a veritable Who's Who of places one might shop for antiquities. And Steinhardt was a frequent shopper. He also apparently knew where to find the good stuff.

Among the items Steinhardt surrendered was the Stag's Head Rhyton a drinking vessel dating from 400 BC that's worth an estimated $3.5 million today.

It was believed to have been stolen in Turkey, in the 1990s.

In a prepared statement, Vance said: "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. 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."

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Well Said 1   News 1   Interesting 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Bob Gaydos Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bob Gaydos is a veteran of 40-plus years in daily newspapers. He began as police reporter with The (Binghamton, N.Y.) Sun-Bulletin, eventually covering government and politics as well as serving as city editor, features editor, sports editor and (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Yes, Melania, I obviously care a lot

It’s time to un-dumb America

Take America out to the ballgame

Look at me, would you believe 'the picture of health'?

Alt-Right: A trumped-up label for bigots

Falling in love with squats, sort of

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend