A suspected Connecticut mobster may be in on the largest art heist in U.S. history — a $500 million mystery that has remained unsolved for 26 years.
FBI agents returned to the Manchester home of Robert Gentile Monday, marking the third time they’ve raided the 79-year-old alleged mob member’s house.
Federal prosecutors believe Gentile — who is currently behind bars for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing guns — knows about the 1990 theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Thirteen pieces of art worth an estimated $500 million were stolen and never recovered. The swiped haul included the only seascape legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt ever painted, several paintings by Edgar Degas and one by Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch artist who left behind just 31 known works.
No one was ever arrested.
Federal officials declined to say why FBI agents went to Gentile’s home Monday. Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, also declined to comment.
“The FBI is conducting court-authorized activity … in connection with an ongoing federal investigation,” said Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston. “We will have no further comment at this time.”
Gentile has told authorities that he doesn’t know anything about the stolen paintings, and McGuigan has denied prosecutors’ allegations that Gentile is a made member of the Philadelphia Mafia.
But prosecutors said that locked-up Gentile has bragged about his knowledge of the paintings: He talked about the stolen works with at least three fellow prisoners at his Rhode Island jail, giving them information on who to call about the art and what code name to use.
Read Full Article – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-searches-mafia-home-bid-crack-1990-art-heist-article-1.2623304