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National Archives Thief Sentenced To 18 Months

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A man convicted of stealing materials from the National Archives and selling them on eBay has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. 
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A man convicted of stealing materials from the National Archives and selling them on eBay has been sentenced to 18 months in jail. 

A federal judge in Maryland has sentenced a former government employee to 18 months in prison for stealing thousands of recordings from the National Archives and selling many on eBay, according to Associated Press.

Leslie Charles Waffen  spent more than 40 years working for the National Archives and Records Administration, the country's most important repository of historical records. He pleaded guilty to theft of government property last fall. 

The man who noticed the theft and helped capture Waffen is a retired radio engineer who spotted on eBay a record he'd donated to the archive in the 1970s.

J. David Goldin had donated a recording of a 1937 interview with Babe Ruth to the Archives. When he saw it on the online auction site, he knew something was wrong. 

"I knew I owned that record at one time and there was only one of those records," Goldin told NBC Washington yesterday.

Waffen is reported to have taken more than $80,000 in media, including an interview with baseball legend Jackie Robinson and an eyewitness account of the Hindenburg blimp crash. 

Only about 20 of the buyers who purchased items on eBay from Waffen have been located, NBC reports. It is not clear if and how Waffen will be made to repay the Archives.

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