Not surprisingly, a 23-year-old man who unearthed treasure in a forest near Rülzheim in Rhineland-Palatinate with a metal detector is now facing embezzlement charges after trying to appropriate the objects and sell them in February.
A court spokesman for the Frankenthal district in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate told The Local that the man is facing up to three years in prison and/or a substantial financial fine after precious items dating back to the 5th Century AD were spotted up for sale on the Internet. "If he had just found the treasure and reported it to the local government, he would not have been charged. His troubles started when he dug it up and then claimed the treasure as his own, and that's why we've brought embezzlement charges against him," Hubert Ströber said.[...] The amateur archaeologist, named as Benny C. from Speyer by the Bild newspaperThe treasure is reported to be worth up to €575,000. In most German states, finds of this nature are automatically deemed public property, administered by the state. Benny C. thought nobody would notice... Pretty thick, many metal detectorists seem to be.
'Treasure hunter facing jail time over golden find', The Local 14 Aug 2014