Assistant Arrested for $600,000 Theft from ‘Afghan Girl’ Photographer Steve McCurry

Bree DeStephano has been accused of stealing from photojournalist Steve McCurry.


Bree DeStephano (left) is accused of stealing more than $600,000 from photographer Steven McCurry, including his famous image Afghan Girl

On June 2, the district attorney in Westchester Pennsylvania announced the arrest of Bree DeStephano, an assistant to the famous photojournalist Steve McCurry, for stealing more than half-a-million dollars worth of material from his studio.

Since McCurry is best known for his portrait of a green-eyed Afghan girl that graced the cover of National Geographic in 1985, the case is being referred to as the “Afghan Girl” theft (see How to Steal $6.5 Million From Jasper Johns and Jasper Johns Former Assistant Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Theft).

Between May 2012 and November 2013, according to a press release from Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, “the defendant stole prints, books, and other items” from McCurry’s studio “and sold them for her own profit.” The stolen items have a total value of $654,358.

DeStephano also stole 50 prints with a value of $628,000 which she had shipped from McCurry’s studio in Long Island City, New York directly to her at another studio, after which she “altered inventory records and print edition numbers.” (See John McEnroe Prevails in Court Amid Continued Salander Fallout and Dale Chihuly Robbed of $3 Million by Drug-Addicted Employee.)

The assistant is also charged with stealing 233 of McCurry’s books with an estimated value of $23,196. She sold these items using various aliases on various websites.

“Mr. McCurry [and his staff] did an excellent job of reporting this theft and cooperating with the District Attorney’s office,” said Mr. Hogan.

DeStephano was arraigned on June 2 before a district judge and her bail was set at $250,000.


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