A longtime Archives official who admitted to stealing nearly 1,000 recordings, many of them rare, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday.
Leslie Waffen, 67, was also sentenced to two years of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine Thursday in Greenbelt’s federal court. A hearing to determine further restitution was scheduled for August.
Waffen did not visibly react when U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte issued the sentence, but he cried when reading an apologetic in which he said he let his hobby as a collector of radio history get in the way of his work at the Archives.
“I took research without permission and did not return material,” Waffen said. “I should have returned it. I did not return it.”
The audience in the courtroom, which was full Thursday, included J. David Goldin, whose personal investigation into items for sale on eBay led to Waffen’s arrest. Goldin did not speak during the hearing.
When Waffen pleaded guilty in October to theft of U.S. government property, he admitted that he stole 955 items from the Archives – among them were original recordings of the 1948 World Series, which Goldin had donated, and a rare recording of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster.
Read more: The Post’s crime coverage