Art Loss Consultants



On Sunday May 29, 2016 at around 10 pm, two male individuals accosted Ron Shore the owner as he was placing the Eagle in his van on a street in Ladner, a Vancouver suburb. After a scuffle in which he was injured, they escaped with the Eagle.

Unitel is working on the theft and has been in contact with the Vancouver police.

Read More...Theft of Golden Eagle in Vancouver, B.C.



PLEASE Call (212) 889-3000 OR EMAIL


Federal Law
The Gardiner Art theft took place on the evening of March 18, 1990. The federal Statute of Limitations in effect at the time of the theft was five years (Title 18 USC, Sec. 3282) which expired on March 18, 1995. On September 13, 1994, the Federal laws were amended to make the Statute of Limitations on Theft of Major Artwork twenty years from the date of the offense (Title 18 USC, Sec 3294) - the offense occurred on March 18, 1990 and the twenty-year limitation expired on March 18, 2010. However, certain exceptions toll the Statute such as fugitives absenting themselves from the jurisdiction. Accessories After the Fact face a limitation of five years.

Massachusetts State Law
Chapter 277, Sec. 63 of the Massachusetts Criminal Statutes sets the limitation as ten years after the commission of an offense. That statute expired on March 18, 2000 with respect to the Gardiner robbery.

Anyone who conspired with the original perpetrators and has knowledge of the whereabouts of the missing Gardiner Art Works and has taken affirmative steps to conceal the missing Art Works falls outside of the Statute of Limitations as the conspiracy is continuing as long as the affirmative activity continues.

Immunity from Prosecution
In the Federal system immunity has to be conferred and is in the nature of use immunity. The candidate must first have a legal standing to seek immunity and one who is outside the Statute of Limitations and not involved by reason of a conspiracy status does not need immunity. Anyone else called before a grand jury can assert his/her privilege against incrimination before a federal grand jury and on the record assert the privilege, then the Federal Prosecutor, if he/she decides immunity is warranted for the witness, is then required to seek internal permission from the Department of Justice and obtains an Order from a District Judge to confer Use immunity on the witness. That witness is protected only as to the answers given that tend to incriminate him/her in a specific case. In the State of Massachusetts, immunity is known as Transaction immunity and requires careful questioning by the prosecutor or other official so as not to inadvertently grant the witness immunity from other crimes not the subject of the hearing.

In any event, immunity is always a subject of negotiations with the prosecuting authorities and experienced lawyers normally have achieved success if the client-witness has substantial information to part with.

Possession of Stolen Property

Federal Law
Effective Oct 11, 1996, the United States Congress enacted § 668 (Theft of Major Artwork) making it a federal felony by any person who steals or obtains by fraud from the care, custody or control of a museum any object of cultural heritage; or knowing that an object of cultural heritage over 100 years old and worth in excess of $5,000 or worth at least $100,000, receives, conceals, exhibits, or disposes of the object, shall be fined and or imprisoned not more than 10 years

State Laws
All states in the U.S. have varying degrees of punishment for knowingly receiving stolen property.  In New York for example, the law is broken down into 5 felony categories ranging from up to a year imprisonment to 25-years where the value of the stolen goods exceeds $1 million plus fines.  The law presumes that a defendant knew the property was stolen, and who intends to either personally benefit or provide the benefit to another, or who impedes recovery of the stolen object.

Frequently “innocent holders” run afoul of these laws such as buying art works passed off as legitimate and then find themselves enmeshed in criminal litigation requiring skilled legal assistance and possibly immunity.



Since 1978, Unitel has been providing specialized discreet services in the field of art loss recovery and intellectual property investigations to museums, corporations, insurers and art owners throughout the world. Our experienced staff of former law enforcement and intelligence experts headed up by an experienced artist/art historian/law enforcement officer provides Unitel's clients a sophisticated solution to art theft protection and recovery and loss negotiations.


On March 18, 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, was robbed by two unknown men. The thieves removed 13 works, some of them priceless beyond value. These include: Vermeer, The Concert; Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black; Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee; Rembrandt, Self-Portrait; Govaert Flinck, Landscape with Obelisk; Manet, Chez Tortoni.

Our services cover such areas as:

  • Museum/art collection security consulting
  • Investigations and art loss recovery & insurance negotiations
  • Liaison services with law enforcement agencies and insurers worldwide
  • Reward claims assistance
  • Interfacing and negotiations with informants worldwide.

UNITEL works closely with the client to achieve the highest degree of protection for their IP properties and trade secrets. Our staff of experienced investigators have been successful in providing evidence of infringement, effecting private seizures and obtaining recovery of damages in cases of theft, piracy and illicit expropriation of IPR assets by disgruntled employees or competitors. We provide assistance and due diligence in the areas of licensing and technology transfers.

From ITC section 337 investigations, to marshaling evidence for in court infringement actions, to private seizure cases in U.S. courts, to Anton Pillar orders in English commonwealth countries, to due diligence studies on prospective licensing partners, UNITEL is accustomed to working closely with counsel to protect a client's intellectual property.

Art theft worldwide has reached epidemic proportions and organized crime groups in various parts of the world have become a ready source of financial backing in both planning art thefts and acting as intermediaries in the transfer and smuggling of stolen art and antiquities. Law enforcement agencies worldwide no longer have the resources or time to devote to art theft. This creates new challenges especially to art museums and private collections to protect their
valuable collections which may contain priceless works of art.

Frequently a museum or art collector that has suffered a major loss, finds itself in a conflict position - on the one hand, art theft is a crime everywhere, but fulfilling their mandate to recover the art work, even to the point of offering significant rewards for information, is required to fulfill the museum's obligations and (raison d'etre) to present their art in a public forum for all to see. Unitel assists the art loss victim bridge these conflicts and negotiates sometimes with persons in the illegal chain of custody of a stolen work while keeping law enforcement informed.

Famous Stolen Paintings

Fine Arts Recovery Consultants: Detection and Recovery of Stolen and Counterfeit Works of Art & Other Valuables


  • U.S. Department of State-Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
  • Liaison with International Police and Customs agencies
  • Liaison & Claim assistance with insurers and Lloyd's Syndicates
  • Liaison & Claim assistance with the Art Loss Register, NY & London
  • Liaison with Interpol, Paris
  • Liaison with the Jewelers Security Alliance
  • Recovery negotiations & seizures worldwide
  • Security Reviews for Art and Rare Jewels Collections

Museums, Private Collections, Insurance Companies

Our Global staff is comprised of former members of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Central Intelligence Agency, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City Police Department, British Police (Scotland Yard), Hong Kong Police, Royal Cayman Islands Police and Russian KGB/MVD.

Our Services in the UK - The London Security Group

In the UK, our Art Loss consulting services are under the direction of Tony Waters, Director of The London Security Group (LSG). Mr. Waters, a retired City of London Fraud Squad Detective and senior investigator to the UK Serious Fraud Office along with his Co-Directors, all former senior police investigators in the UK, provide years of experience and contacts in solving various Art crimes.

LSG provides consulting services to Museums, Insurance Companies, law firms and Art collectors in the areas of museum security risk assessments, technology reviews and loss/recovery investigations. For insurance underwriters, assessing the security of a museum's collections for coverage review is a necessary step in that process.



Strategic Alliance

Unitel and Avante Int'l Technology, Inc., announce the formation of a Strategic Alliance for Unitel to provide the Fine Arts client, Avante's break-through technology for the protection of Art Works and other valuables through the use of Avante's patented RFID technology.

Using sophisticated unobtrusive electronic monitoring tags unobtrusively fixed to the back of Art Works or other Valuables, and Avante's Real-Time location technology, Valuables are protected every second 24/7/365. The cost-effective system provides unparalleled visibility of the position, movement, ambient light level, temperature and humidity of every protected Work of Art with embedded tiny sensors that transmit instantaneous alerts. The IP-based RFID monitoring solution provides total real-time multi-layer security and safety providing even cell phone SMS text notifications everywhere, as well as mobile transportation of artwork by truck to shows or other locations via GPRS and satellite communications.

The entire system is web based and independent of any existing security system as well as providing input to existing communications infrastructure. Staff can be equipped with RFID ID badges that provides real-time as to location, movement and temperature data and panic- button interface.

Art Theft Links

Art Hostage

Dedicated Gardner Art Heist site

Museum Security

Interpol Art Theft Division

FBI Art Theft Division

New Scotland Yard

Italian Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culurale:

LAPD Art Theft Detail


The London Security Group (Our UK Affiliate)


Art Auction Houses


To schedule speakers on Art Theft & Protection for your Art Programs
contact us at 212-889-3000


New York | London | Venice

William P Callahan, Esq.

William P. Callahan specializes in governmental relations and litigation matters including aerial filiming by unmanned vehicles (UAS) known as Drones and defense matters related thereto. Mr. Callahan is a member of the New York Bar and is duly licensed as an Attorney At Law.

Since the date of the theft of 13 priceless paintings on March 18th, 1990 from The Gardner Museum, Mr. Callahan has been investigating the whereabouts of the missing art.

Mr. Callahan served in the Department of Justice as a trial lawyer in the Criminal Division and Narcotics Section, New York and D.C. While with the Department of Justice, Mr. Callahan was assigned as Regional Counsel to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Task Force) New York while with ODALE, (Office of Drug Abuse Law Enforcement) overseeing federal enforcement of narcotics laws. He was appointed by the Director of ODALE and Special Assistant to the President to be the Coordinator of CENTAC 2 (DEA - Central Tactical Unit) to coordinate a major heroin conspiracy investigation involving the Frank Matthews narcotics organization among the various governmental agencies such as the CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS, Department of State, U.S. Army and Interpol.

Mr. Callahan entered into the private practice of law in 1980, acting principally as Investigative Counsel to the Bar. From 2005 - 2010, Mr. Callahan was appointed by the Federal District Court, SDNY (Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr.) to be the Court’s Independent Investigator charged with enforcing the terms of a Consent Decree involving the District Council Carpenters (Carpenter’s Union) and enforcement of all applicable Federal, State and Local laws.

In the fine arts field, Mr. Callahan has lectured extensively on art theft and has investigated many art thefts here in the United States and the United Kingdom and assisted Lloyd's adjusters on recovery of missing fine arts and antiques.

Related Practices

White Collar Crime
Money Laundering Investigations
Corruption Investigations
Aerial Drone and Defense
Art Theft

Bar and Court Admissions

Member NY Bar
U.S. District Court, SDNY
U.S. District Court EDNY
Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Third Circuit Court of Appeals
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals


International Bar Association, London, UK

Federal Appointments

Appointed by Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr.,
U.S. District Court, SDNY, as Independent Investigator
Under a Consent Decree over the Carpenter’s Union (2005- 2010)


President & CEO, United Intelligence Group, Inc
NY Licensed Private Investigator
Director, The London Security Group, Co.UK
Constituent Member, Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - US State Department
Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)
Association of the United States Navy
Victory Services Club London (UK)
Illustrators Club (NY)
Guest Lecturer, Maritime Security, SUNY Maritime College (Ft. Schuyler, NY)
Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International