FBI Severs Ties to Cooperator in $500M Boston Museum Theft

August 13, 2015 Updated: August 13, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn.—Federal authorities investigating the 1990 theft of $500 million in art from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum have terminated a cooperation agreement with a reputed gangster because they think he lied to a grand jury when saying he knew nothing about the heist.

The disclosure in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on Wednesday reveals nothing about the whereabouts of the 13 works, but helps explain why investigators have focused their efforts in the past five years on 79-year old Robert Gentile.

The Hartford Courant (http://cour.at/1NcBsNB ) reports that a prosecution motion reveals Gentile told an FBI informant in 2010 that he knew who masterminded the theft and smiled when asked if he had the works.

Gentile has consistently denied knowing anything about the missing art.

Authorities say Gentile was a sworn member of the Philadelphia mob.