Mongolian Dinosaur Fossil Forfeited

03 Dec 2014 8:30 AM | Anonymous

Mongolian Dinosaur Fossil Forfeited

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Civil Forfeiture Action Used to Seize and Forfeit Stolen Cultural Property

A decree of forfeiture was issued today by the Honorable Brian M. Cogan in federal court in the Eastern District of New York forfeiting the fossilized skull and vertebrae of an Alioramus dinosaur (the “Dinosaur Skull”). The Alioramus was a dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous period, approximately 65 to 70 million years ago. It is related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Tarbosaurus. The Dinosaur Skull was falsely described as a French replica in January 2014, when it was shipped to the United States by Geofossiles, Inc., a French fossil dealer. Upon its arrival in the United States from France, the Dinosaur Skull was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). On September 4, 2014, the United States filed a civil action to forfeit the Dinosaur Skull, alleging that it was stolen Mongolian property that was smuggled into the United States using false declarations. As Geofossiles did not contest the allegations in the United States’ complaint, the court ordered the forfeiture of the Dinosaur Skull. 

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