March 19, 2018

National Archives Victimized by Former Employee

By LJ Staff

A former employee of the National Archives was charged with stealing historic
documents and selling them to collectors. Authorities have charged Shawn P.
Aubitz, 45, a 14-year veteran of the National Archives’ Philadelphia branch,
with stealing as many as 100 artifacts and selling them for upwards of $100,000.
The loss was discovered in March 2000, when a National Park Service employee
warned the Archives that one of its items was seemingly for sale on eBay. Aubitz
faces a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of
$250,000. His defense attorney told reporters that Aubitz “sincerely and fully
regrets his actions” and would assist in recovering stolen items, which include
a presidential pardon signed by Abraham Lincoln and an 1863 warrant to seize the
estate of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Though documents have been stolen
from the National Archives before, officials say the case sets a sad precedent,
the first case of employee theft in the archives’ 68-year history.