Ex-NARA Official Sold Recordings on eBay

Article excerpt

A former National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) official who guarded some of the nation's most valuable historical records for four decades might have to spend a decade in prison for stealing hundreds of recordings and selling them online.

Leslie Charles Waffen, who had served as a top NARA official, has pleaded guilty to charges he sold stolen sound recordings on eBay. He will be sentenced in March.

According to ABC News, investigators uncovered Waffen's "eight-year scheme" in September when he sold a 1937 tape of New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth on eBay for $34.74 under the name "hi-fi_gal." Federal agents, tipped off to the sale, obtained the tape and traced it back to his work at NARA in College Park, Maryland. Over the next few weeks, they caught him selling other items belonging to NARA on eBay.

Agents raided Waffen's home in October, seizing a moving truck full of boxes that held 6,153 recordings. As part of the plea deal, Waffen has agreed to forfeit at least 955 of the recordings and will reimburse the federal government for the "full amount of the loss," ABC News reported. …