PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former librarian and a bookseller faced a judge Monday morning, pleading guilty to stealing and trafficking rare books from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says Gregory Priore pleaded guilty to charges of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. All other counts against him have been dropped.
John Schulman & Greg Priore plead guilty to theft and other charges in connection with stealing rare materials from the Carnegie Library. There is no agreement as to sentencing and Judge Alex Bicket will hold a sentencing hearing on April 17, 2020.
— AlleghenyCountyDA (@AlleghenyCoDA) January 13, 2020
John Schulman pleaded guilty to charges of receiving stolen property, theft by deception and forgery. As part of the plea agreement, the DA’s Office says they will drop all other charges against him.
Schulman’s attorney said he is remorseful.
“John Schulman’s dedicated most of his life contributing to the bookselling industry, and he surely regrets that today’s guilty plea reflects negatively on that trade, as well as his clients and family,” attorney Robert Del Greco said.
Authorities allege that Priore, who is a former librarian that oversaw the rare books room at the Carnegie Library, stole prints, maps and rare books and handed them off to Caliban Book Shop co-owner John Schulman to resell them.
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Prosecutors allege that several hundred rare items valued at more than $8 million were taken in a scheme they believe dates back to the 1990s.
One of those books, a more than 400-year-old Geneva Bible, was later tracked down to the Netherlands.
Investigators began connecting the dots when they found checks from Schulman to Priore, hundreds of eBay and PayPay listings, email correspondents and receipts from the sale of items that were missing.
Priore and Schulman have a sentencing hearing scheduled on April 17.
The DA’s Office says there is no agreement about sentencing as part of the plea.