Alioramus -- related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex -- was a dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous period.
The bones were falsely described as a French replica in January 2014, when they were shipped to the United States by Geofossiles, Inc., a French fossil dealer. Geofossiles charged the buyer a quarter of a million dollars for what was supposed to be a cheap fake.
Judge Brian M. Cogan, in federal court in Brooklyn, agreed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which said the bones were stolen Mongolian property that was smuggled into the United States using false declarations.
The forfeiture was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and James T. Hayes, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, HSI.
Lynch said, “Lies and forgeries are no match for the vigilance of our partners at CBP and HSI."
Under Mongolian law, fossils like these are national property and cannot be sold to non-Mongolians or permanently exported.
*Photo: By Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography (14365- dinosaur 4155) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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