Surgeon pleads guilty to attempting to sell ancient Greek coins he “knew” had been stolen in Italy, but they were fakes, so what was he guilty of? Not possession of stolen property – these weren’t stolen. Not some violation of an antiquities act – these weren’t ancient. Not fraud – no one paid him his asked-for $3 million because they were discovered to be fake before money changed hands. And not attempted fraud – he thought they were real.
I know there are statutes prohibiting the sale of fake drugs, enacted to snare drug dealers peddling fake dry goods, but I’m trying to think of what law this guy violated.
He only got probation, so I suspect the prosecutors had a hard time coming up with a crime to charge him with too.
UPDATE: This link shows that he was originally charged in January with “criminal possession of stolen property” which of course, they couldn’t nail him on. “Attempted possession” might work, except there was in fact no stolen property to possess – the coins were forgeries.