US Marshals jump into 'Cyber Monday' mania

US Marshals auction features 4,700 bottles of wine


OK so it’s not Amazon, Target or Wal-Mart Cyber Monday sales but the US Marshals are offering up what it calls “Cyber Monday” auctions for ill-gotten-booty.

“Cyber Monday is generally thought to be the start of the online holiday shopping season. 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,” said Jason Wojdylo, Chief Inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division in a statement. These online auctions are designed to generate proceeds from ill-gotten gains to give back to victims, he stated.

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One auction includes a wine collection of approximately 2,800 bottles seized from once prominent wine dealer Rudy Kurniawan, who is serving a 10-year federal prison sentence following his conviction of selling millions of dollars of counterfeit wine. 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.

According to the Marshals, much of the wine was destined to be used in the production of fake high-end wines in his now-infamous scheme. In addition, a number of authenticated high-value wines that Kurniawan stored at a California facility are included in the auction. Net proceeds from the sale of the wine will be made available to the court to ultimately be returned to victims in the case.

Another auction, which 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, an number of horse-shaped plaques and trophies.

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