Steve Green, CEO and owner of the Hobby Lobby Arts and Craft stores, with his family, is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the possible smuggling of small clay tablets that are thousand years old from Iraq, reported the Daily Mail. It was further reported that the Green Family will be using these collections for the Museum of the Bible, a nonprofit museum funded by the family.
In the Daily Beast exclusive report on Monday, October 26, the investigation started since 2011 when the U.S Customs agents in Memphis seized a shipment containing somewhere around 200 to 300 small clay tablets on their way to Oklahoma from Israel. After further investigation, they eventually found out that the destination of the said tablets is the compound of the Hobby Lobby Corporation.
Cary Summers, the president of the Museum of the Bible, confirmed to the Daily Beast that the tablets were indeed seized by the U.S Customs agents and that the federal investigation is true. There are around 40,000 ancient artifacts that are collected for the use of the evangelical museum that is to open in 2017.
In a report by Daily Mail, it seemed that the Greens assigned a monetary value of only $300 to the tablets and titled them "hand-crafted clay tiles" in the FedEx shipping labels. Daily Beast stated that this move could be a way for the family not to pay accompanying custom charges for the artifacts as shipments with the monetary value of more than $2500 are required to undergo formal entry through the US Customs and Border Protection, which will be both an extensive and expensive process. Moreover, Steve Green stated that there could be some "illicit" artifacts included in the collections yet he and his family have no knowledge of it. This is a statement that he told in a story scheduled to appear in the upcoming issue of The Atlantic, the Daily Beast reported.
A more extensive investigation is being done by the feds regarding the biblical artifacts to make sure that there aren't more artifacts that are smuggled or shipped illegally from the 40,000 something collections of the Green family.
Hobby Lobby is a craft store that is run by the Green family, who runs their business under Christian values. The store became famous because of the Supreme Court case that they have won against enforcing contraception to their employees, which is against their religious belief.