AUSTIN, Texas — Formula One Racing brings car lovers everywhere down to the Circuit of the Americas. For the first time, the race has attracted U.S. Marshals looking to sell some high end, seized assets.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had this type of collection where you’ve got domestic and foreign, sports cars, sedans, you know, classic cars,” said Jennifer Crane, Assistant Chief for the U.S. Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Division.
An auction Saturday was held as part of the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program that strips criminals of their ill-gotten gains.
“It’s rare to have this many cars with clean titles in one location, pertaining to one case, so it’s unprecedented,” said Will McAdam, a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
That case was a lucrative,“pill mill” operation out in Mobile, Alabama.
"We’re talking about several millions of dollars and these assets currently behind me are worth a little over $2 million," McAdam said.
This fleet belonged to two doctors who are now in federal prison for illegally prescribing painkillers and charging insurers. The history means little to buyers from across the country who showed up to the auction in-person at the Hilton Austin Airport or on-line.
"The cars that we were looking at, looking at buying had really low miles for what they were, the year, make and model and in the luxury and exotic arena that really matters," said Kyle Lowe of H&L Motorcars in Fort Worth.
The highest bid was $461,000 for a 2006 Saleen S7. While the auction reignites the love for luxury, it's also a vehicle for justice.The proceeds are going to the health care providers scammed.
"It's good news story, it’s a good story for law enforcement that we hopefully can help the victims regain some of what they lost," Crane said.
Unrelated to the pill mill case, the U.S. Marshals Service also auctioned off fine jewelry.The total sale, including the cars, was $4.3 million.