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Crime The Almighty Buck The Internet

US Marshals Jump Into 'Cyber Monday' Mania (networkworld.com) 63

coondoggie writes: "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. 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.
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US Marshals Jump Into 'Cyber Monday' Mania

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  • Are all the things cops take with civil forfeiture without ever having to prove a crime occurred up for sale too? Or does all that just disappear into the cops' pockets since it's not like there's a paper trail at the courthouse to keep track of it all.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <uninvolved@outlook.com> on Monday November 30, 2015 @10:16PM (#51031251) Journal

      That's included too, as far as I know. I've seen lots of nice stuff - at great prices. I will not buy them. I will not contribute to this, I find it abhorrent. You go to prison as punishment, not to be punished. If they can prove they are ill-gotten gains then the funds should go towards the reparation or rehabilitation but that aspect seems to be lacking. "Oh, no receipt? Well, we'll just be taking this." There's no real due process there and, as such, it's deplorable.

      I can buy lots of this stuff - some of it is nice. I don't. I won't. *sighs* Someone else will but it does make me feel good to not contribute.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        It looks like these items (from following a few links posted in the thread) are not - in fact, taken as civil forfeiture or as ill gotten gains but are from judgments handed down with due process. Hmm... I don't know if it's possible to be sure but it looks like there is some information attached. Heh. Maybe I can buy some stuff and not feel like I'm contributing to the process.

        (I felt obligated to make this clear, my first post was under the impression that that's what it was - given the summary and I sure

        • by Hizonner ( 38491 )

          I don't see where any of the items on the auction site actually link to their history. The only links like that are the couple of links that were in the news story.

          You're going to have everything from the actual proceeds of crimes people were actually convicted of, to things closely related to such crimes, to stuff taken with criminal convictions, but under punitive statutes that are designed to confiscate basically all of somebody's property (and effectively impose unconstitutional excessive fines under a

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            The linked PDFs to items tell you enough information to Google from there. One lady, below, had a bunch of trophies. It turned out that it's being auctioned to pay off the 57 million USD she embezzled. If I were into trophies then I'd consider that. The house looks pretty nice - I didn't find that up for auction.

          • One thing I happened to notice is that they're selling a bunch of poker tables. If I were to guess, these were taken from people who were running illegal casinos. I wonder if they ever considered that the new owner might do the same. Or perhaps, they're hoping the new owner will do the same...

    • Wait did you say shopping? *Zips fly*
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    Can I pay for it with bitcoin - that would seem appropriate.

  • by towermac ( 752159 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @08:14PM (#51030585)

    Check out the statues:

    http://www.usmarshals.gov/asse... [usmarshals.gov]

    How crazy does one have to be? I'd love to hear her story behind that. Maybe she'll write a book.

    • Not as crazy as you hoped. Those are all awards that the woman won.

      Rita A. Crundwell [wikipedia.org] (born January 10, 1953) was the appointed comptroller and treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, from 1983 to 2012, and the admitted operator of what is believed to be the largest municipal fraud in American history. She was fired in April 2012 after it was revealed that she had embezzled $53.7 million from the city over 22 years to support her championship American Quarter Horse breeding operation.

    • Check out the statues:

      http://www.usmarshals.gov/asse... [usmarshals.gov]

      How crazy does one have to be? I'd love to hear her story behind that. Maybe she'll write a book.

      Just ask and you shall receive.

      Rita A. Crundwell (born January 10, 1953) was the appointed comptroller and treasurer of Dixon, Illinois, from 1983 to 2012, and the admitted operator of what is believed to be the largest municipal fraud in American history. She was fired in April 2012 after it was revealed that she had embezzled $53.7 million from the city over 22 years to support her championship American Quarter Horse breeding operation. [1][2][3][4] She pled guilty to her crimes and was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison.[1]

      Crundwell's Quarter Horse operation, RC Quarter Horses, was one of the best-known Quarter Horse breeders in the country; her horses won 52 world championships and she was named the leading owner by the American Quarter Horse Association for eight consecutive years prior to her arrest.

      [continued] [wikipedia.org]

      One year of prison for each 2.5 million dollars. That's not bad. Where do I sign up?

      Where are they actually selling the horses? Those should be worth way more than the statues.

  • by NostalgiaForInfinity ( 4001831 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @08:15PM (#51030589)

    These online auctions are designed to generate proceeds from ill-gotten gains to give back to victims, he stated.

    Assets seized under asset forfeiture generally don't go "back to victims", they mostly go back to police departments. It is a corrupt system that is urgently in need of reform.

    http://www.forfeiturereform.co... [forfeiturereform.com]

    https://www.aclu.org/issues/cr... [aclu.org]

    Police should never benefit from asset forfeiture because it creates a perverse set of incentives; either it should go into the state or federal general fund, or proceeds should go to a pool of charities. The burden of proof for asset forfeiture should be on the government, and the standard should be "beyond a reasonable doubt", just like any other criminal conviction.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So, because this wine was deemed illegal it was forfeited to police who are now selling it themselves??

      Remind me who the criminals are again?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This mafia the police has become is disgusting.

  • by viperidaenz ( 2515578 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @08:31PM (#51030675)

    Some guy is in jail for 10 years for selling counterfeit wine.
    The cops are now selling his counterfeit wine.

    If a shop buys these bottles and re-sells them, isn't that still illegally selling counterfeit products?

    If you import a counterfeit product and it's stopped at the border, it either gets destroyed or you have to pay to ship it back.

    • No, they're not selling the counterfeit wines. They're selling the wines that he bought with the money that he made from selling counterfeit wines.

  • 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.

    Dixon is a city of 15,733 souls, per Wikipedia, as of the 2000 census.

    How in the bloody hell did that much money disappear unnoticed for 20 years?

    • Most of that money was stolen near the end, with 30M of the thefts occuring in six years. Somehow, she convinced the town that the problem was in the state stiffing the city of monies owed to them. The theft started small (comparitively) with a first theft of 25,000. She convinced them to fire half the street maintence workers, etc.

      The city has since recovered about $50 M of the money, from teh auditors and the auctions.

  • Fencing the Goods (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @08:41PM (#51030733)
  • 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.

    Man, they must think I'm stupid or something...

  • Where I live, for some reason alcoholic beverages never make to the evidence room.

  • I've been looking at some of the prices the auctions start at, and they can be ridiculous. This is mostly used merchandise, and some items it list for more than the same or comparable item would cost new if I just went to the store to buy it. Many prices are very reasonable, though.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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