YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It many not be the traditional way to shop, but the U.S. Marshals Service is hoping holiday shoppers will check out their deals on seized merchandise.
On “Cyber Monday,” the U.S. Marshals are asking the public to consider placing a bid on unique items for sale in online auctions of forfeited assets that were seized during the course of two significant criminal investigations. Net proceeds will be returned to victims of the fraud-related crimes.
The first auction that closes on Dec. 1, includes assets seized from Rita Crundwell, the former comptroller of Dixon, Illinois, who in 2012 was convicted of stealing more than $53.7 million over two decades from the city where she was employed. She is serving a nearly 20-year federal prison sentence. More than 390 lots are being auctioned, to include 150 belt buckles.
The second online auction includes a wine collection of approximately 2,800 bottles seized from prominent wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence following his conviction on fraud-related charges. The online auction of 537 lots closes on Dec. 8. Another online auction of approximately 1,900 bottles of wine will run from Dec. 1 – 15.
“Cyber Monday is generally thought to be the start of the online holiday shopping season,” said Jason Wojdylo, Chief Inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division. “We would like to encourage shoppers who are already online in search of bargains to consider stopping by our auction website to bid on forfeited assets.”
All proceeds are used to help victims of crime.