The civil case concerning accused Asian antiquities trafficker Douglas Latchford came to an end on Thursday after his daughter and sole heir agreed to a settlement that would forfeit millions of dollars from his estate.
What happened: The recent settlement marked the end of an investigation that began in the early 2010s.
As part of the deal, the U.S. will not seek more assets from Julia Latchford, the daughter of the late Douglas Latchford. The younger Latchford reportedly inherited an unknown amount of money from her father and over 125 artifacts and gold relics allegedly taken from Cambodia.
In addition to forfeiting $12 million from her father’s estate, Julia Latchford has agreed to return a seventh-century bronze statue to Vietnam.
Key details: Douglas Latchford was indicted in 2019 on federal fraud and conspiracy charges. In 2020, he died at the age of 88.
He was a “prolific dealer of stolen antiquities,” according to Homeland Security Investigations special agent Ivan J. Arvelo. He allegedly made his fortune through “numerous illicit transactions over several decades” from buyers and sellers in the U.S.
Returning priceless artifacts: Following her father’s death, Julia Latchford reportedly agreed to return part of his collection to Cambodia, with some of the items being stolen Angkor crown jewelry.
One of the elder Latchford’s clients, Netscape co-founder James Clark, stated last year that he would return the artifacts he bought from the late dealer. Clark reportedly spent around $35 million on at least 30 items.
“The right resolution”: In a statement, Julia Latchford concurred that Cambodia’s effort to reacquire its lost heritage was “the right resolution to a difficult history.”
She also noted that it was “appropriate” when the Cambodian Minister for Culture and Fine Arts and her team used her late father’s records to “shed light on the activities of the very many collectors, dealers and institutions which have been involved with the trade.”