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Roofers say not thieves

New England men go on trial in case of antique cash hoard find.
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They say they didn?t steal the money. Prosecutors argue they did.

Both sides will get a chance to present their cases at the trial of four New England roofers accused of theft in the discovery of an 1,800-piece hoard of antique paper money.

Based on reports from the Newburyport Daily News, and the E-Sylum, the electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, reported on the story in its Jan. 15 issue.

The story made national headlines in the spring of 2004 when, in interviews with the media, the men said they?d found the currency buried in a backyard.
Later, police determined that the men had actually discovered the money in a Newbury barn they were repairing.

Charged with larceny of over $250 from a person over 60 years old are Timothy A. Crebase, 25, of Methuen, Mass.; and Barry Billcliff, 27, of Manchester, N.H. Charged with receiving stolen property, conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact are Kevin Kozak, 28, of Methuen; and Matthew Ingham, 24, of Newton, N.H.

In a motion filed in Lawrence District Court, lawyers for the four asked that all charges be dismissed for lack of evidence.

They argued the police have no proof the money was actually stolen because nobody knew the money was stashed in the barn rafters.

Police say the men made up the buried-treasure story to cover for the theft of the money. 

 The motion is scheduled for consideration Feb. 17.