WASHINGTON – The U.S. Marshals Service is conducting a live and Web simulcast auction to sell nearly 400 lots of fine jewelry, watches, gold, diamonds and even some Megalodon fossil shark teeth Saturday. The auction starts at 10 a.m. at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, and the Web simulcast is at www.txauction.com. A catalog with the expected price range for each item is available on the website. A public preview is scheduled for Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The items being sold were seized from federal court cases nationwide and are now forfeited to the government. The U.S. Marshals Service consolidates pieces from cases nationwide and holds a large auction several times a year. Proceeds generated from the auctions are used to compensate victims of crimes and supplement law enforcement programs.
“Criminals often like to spend the proceeds of their crimes on things like glitzy jewelry, watches and gold bars and coins. When we arrest them, we take away any assets that were paid for with those ill-gotten gains. After the assets have been seized and forfeited, they are made available for public sale. People tend to have a fascination with these goods, and they like the prospect of buying from a U.S. Marshals auction and maybe even finding an unexpected bargain on some fine pieces,” said U.S. Marshal John Kammerzell of the District of Colorado.
Two of the more well-known cases that resulted in assets for auction were the Shawn Merriman Ponzi scheme case out of the District of Colorado and the Sujata Sachdeva embezzlement case in Milwaukee. Merriman, 49, of Aurora, Colo., was convicted in 2010 for a mail fraud Ponzi scheme that defrauded 67 investors of millions of dollars. He is serving time in a federal prison in South Dakota with a scheduled release date in 2020. Sachdeva, 48, was convicted in 2010 for embezzling $34 million from the Milwaukee-based company, Koss Corp. She is serving a sentence until 2020 in a federal prison in Connecticut.
From l to r: A ring with a central 3.2 carat diamond valued up to $16,500 from the Merriman case in Colorado, an 18-karat yellow gold Patek Phillipe watch from the Merriman case in Colorado, a platinum Rolex watch valued up to $40,000 from a case in Northern Georgia, and a 5.92 carat fancy yellow diamond ring valued up to $27,000 from the Sachdeva case in Milwaukee.
From l to r: A sample of gold bars and coins for sale, more than 3 pounds (1719 grams) of natural gold nuggets valued at approximately $60,000 from a case in Alaska, and a lot of five Megalodon fossil shark teeth, approximately 15 million years old, valued up to $1,100, from a case in Eastern Pennsylvania .
For more information on the auctions, go to www.txauction.com
For more information on the criminal cases, go to:
The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for managing and selling seized and forfeited properties acquired by federal criminals through illegal activities. Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to compensate victims, supplement funding for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs. As part of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program, the Marshals currently manage more than 19,000 assets with a value of $4.4 billion.