Billionaire investor Michael Steinhardt agreed to turn over 180 stolen antiques and accept a lifetime ban from collecting other relics in an agreement Monday with Manhattan District prosecutors.

In an investigation that began in February 2017, it was discovered that about $70 million worth of items had been looted and illegally smuggled.

“Even though Steinhardt’s decades-long indifference to the rights of peoples to their own sacred treasures is appalling, the interests of justice prior to indictment and trial favor a resolution that ensures that a substantial portion of the damage to world cultural heritage will be undone, once and for all,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a press release.

Steinhardt will not face criminal charges as part of the deal. Many of the stolen antiques will be returned to 11 countries: Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Turkey. One item was the Stag’s Head Rhyton, a drinking vessel from 400 B.C. worth about $3.5 million.

“Steinhardt viewed these precious artifacts as simple commodities — things to collect and own. He failed to respect that these treasures represent the heritage of cultures around the world from which these items were looted, often during times of strife and unrest,” HIS New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky Patel said on the matter.

Steinhardt, 81, was born in New York and earned a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He founded the hedge fund Steinhardt Partners in 1967 and closed it in 1995. A Forbes writer once referred to Steinhardt as "Wall Street's greatest trader." 

Forbes lists his net worth at $1.2 billion.

Steinhardt helped fund the New York Sun, a daily newspaper that operated from 2002 to 2008. He co-founded Birthright Israel, a foundation that funds Jewish Americans’ heritage trips to Israel.

In 2019, New York University hired a law firm to investigate whether Steinhardt, whose name is attached to the school of education, engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with students, faculty, or staff. Steinhardt denied the allegations, saying any such comments he made were in jest.