In describing his crimes, Prokopi said he wrote an email to a fossils dealer in China in 2010, instructing him to mislabel customs documents to make it appear that the bones of a Chinese flying dinosaur were worth less than they were.
He said that from 2010 to 2012, he arranged for shipments of fossils from Mongolia to be described in customs documents as if their country of origin were Great Britain.
The magistrate judge asked Prokopi if the country of origin on the documents was an important fact.
"Well, apparently," Prokopi said, prompting a brief discussion between the prosecutor and Prokopi's defense lawyer.
Afterward, Prokopi said the labeling of the relics was purposefully "vague and misleading so that they didn't bring attention to the shipment."
The magistrate judge asked him what would have happened if he had labeled them accurately.
"Probably nothing," Prokopi said, pausing and then adding, "or it may not have been allowed to be imported."
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