Back in July 2015, Stephen Reed, who was the mayor of Harrisburg at the time, was charged with receiving stolen property after spending millions in public funds. What could Reed have possibly been buying with all that money? Well, he was working to build a Wild West museum and fill it with artifacts representing that time period. Unfortunately, the museum was never built, however, the district attorney is under the impression that many of the items that were to be placed in this museum could have been stolen, perhaps not by Reed, but maybe the distributor who provided them to him.
Former Mayor of Harrisburg may have been dabbling into some illegal activity while spending millions on a museum for the city.
What Made Reed Want to Build a Wild West Museum in Harrisburg?
According to the Pocono Record, Reed had served as mayor with a pretty good track record. He won re-election six times and received “plaudits for revitalizing the city’s dingy downtown.” His goal was to get tourists to want to travel to Harrisburg, which obviously helps increase the amount of money spent in the city. During the time he served as mayor, he built a Civil War museum, and wanted to continue down the successful path he was on. That is what led him to want to develop and build a Wild West museum.
The artifacts he would require to purchase for this museum came at a costly price, and he used a city fund to pay for all of them. One detail that has many puzzled is the fact that Reed controlled this fund. And “a grand jury report issued nearly two years ago described Reed’s compulsion to buy artifacts as “an almost pathological preoccupation.” According to the news source, the collection Reed had was placed in a storage facility nearby to his home. And Reed allegedly spent nearly $8.3 million on these delicate pieces. But once allegations were made against him, the city seized all of the property and was able to recover about $4.4 million from the $8.3 million spent.
While Reed’s criminal defense attorney in Harrisburg claims he didn’t receive stolen goods, the district attorney seems to think otherwise which is why 114 counts being pinned against him are still standing. His charges consist of “one count of evidence tampering for trying to sell some of the artifacts on consignment, and one count of dealing in the proceed of unlawful activities.”
What are the Penalties for Purchasing Stolen Property?
Although Reed is due back in court, he could very well be charged if the artifacts were stolen. Depending on the crime and the cost of the items, Reed could be facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. But because the cost of these artifacts is rather high, his charges may be leaning more toward a felony.
Were You Charged for Purchasing Stolen Items?
Many individuals choose to purchase stolen property because they get it at a cheaper price while others aren’t aware they are even committing a crime. Therefore, if you are facing a charge for a similar offense, let USAttorneys get you paired up with a local Harrisburg, PA criminal defense lawyer to get you free consultation scheduled.