NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. government has filed a lawsuit in New York to force the return to Mongolia of a dinosaur fossil worth more than $1 million.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says the nearly complete Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton was allegedly stolen from Mongolia and brought to the U.S. with false claims that it originated in Great Britain and was worth $15,000. It sold at auction for more than $1 million.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, names Heritage Auctions a defendant. Company cofounder Jim Halperin says the skeleton was sold conditional on the outcome of litigation "so this matter is now in the hands of lawyers and politicians." He says the company bought the fossils in good faith.
Experts say the skeleton was discovered in the Gobi Desert between 1995 and 2005.
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