Alleged Violin Thief Returned to USA

LONG BEACH, Calif. (CN) – A man accused of stealing violins from a Los Angeles Philharmonic member and trying to sell them on the cheap in France has been extradited to Los Angeles to face federal charges. Anthony Eugene Notarstefano, 45, was charged in a French court after a merchant to whom he tried sell the fiddles reported him to French police, according to the FBI.

     The violins belong to Mark Kashper, whose Hollywood home was robbed in December 2006. Stolen were a Carlo Tononi violin, owned by the L.A. Philharmonic and valued at $225,000; a Jean Baptise Vuillaume violin, valued at $65,000; and a Tourte bow worth $30,000.
     Notarstefano allegedly went to several Paris music stores on the Rue de Rome in February 2007 and tried to sell the violins at a fraction of their value. He has been in custody in France since 2007. He is charged in the U.S. with foreign transportation of stolen goods and possession of stolen goods.
     If convicted on the U.S. charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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