A US presidential historian has admitted stealing dozens of historical documents including letters signed by George Washington, Sir Isaac Newton and Marie Antoinette. Barry Landau, 63, admitted he and an assistant, 24-year-old assistant Jason Savedoff, swiped items from museums across the US, and sold selected documents for profit.

The pair face up to five years in prison for their conspiracy and 10 years for the theft. In Landau's New York apartment, authorities uncovered over 4,000 items traced as being stolen from libraries and museums Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.

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