Both Markells also pleaded guilty to tax evasion and were sentenced to 3 years of unsupervised probation. They were fined approximately $2,000 restitution and must pay to ship more than 300 artifacts seized from their home and now-closed gallery back to Southeast Asia at an estimated cost of $25,000.
The ISB Special Agent who conducted the undercover operation, along with an antiquities expert, testified at the sentencing hearing, pointing out that the Markells' actions were "devastating to the archeology of Thailand," where many of the stolen artifacts had originated.
The collection of artifacts was recovered during a raid on the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Their discovery and subsequent return were the result of a five-year undercover, multi-agency federal investigation led by the National Park Service's Investigative Services Branch (ISB).
The Bowers Museum reached an agreement with the US District Attorney to return the artifacts and avoid prosecution.
Two suspects were indicted on felony charges, one of whom was scheduled to go to trial in the spring of 2015.