Robert “Bobby” Gentile denied that either he or his old friend and criminal associate Bobby Guarente, ever had possession of the stolen Gardner artwork, but not for lack of trying.
Both were enraptured by the $5 million reward that the museum was offering for the recovery in the late 1990s. Unmoved by Gentile’s claims of innocence, the FBI has set him up in two other crimes in recent years — which he immediately fell for — to increase pressure on him to cooperate in its Gardner probe. Gentile has pleaded guilty to the crimes and has served five years in prison, all the while maintaining that he never had possession of the stolen artwork. While three searches of his home outside Hartford, Connecticut, have found no signs of the artwork, the authorities did recover a piece of typewriter paper on which was written what each of the 13 stolen items might fetch on the black market.
— Written by Stephen Kurkjian