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Heritage Farmstead Museum Theft Proves Massive Fraud Not Just a Woe for Big Institutions

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Apparently it isn’t just big deal museum directors like Lawrence Small or W. Richard West Jr. who skim a little off the top of the coffers for their own personal benefit. It can happen to both the big and small. Such was the case in this interesting story from the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, Texas, where director Ted Peters wound up swiping more than $150,000 from the museum’s funds. But he won’t be going to jail or having to pay back any of it, as he committed the perfect crime by dying a year before the investigation began to figure out where all that money was disappearing to. Now that the police have released a report on finding that it was Peters who was responsible, they can also question why the museum didn’t vet their top brass very well, considering that he was still in the middle of a ten year probation sentence for bilking a life insurance company when he was hired. Sure, it’s no “they bought solid gold shower curtains” story, like with the cheats above who pulled some fast ones at the Smithsonian, but it’s still an interesting tale of museumery run afoul.

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