Photo: Linocut by Pablo Picasso Available from U.S. Marshalls
The U.S. Marshals Service is conducting online auctions to sell 245 works of art by Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and other old masters as well as pieces by more recent famous artists.
The items are up for auction at www.txauction.com until July 2.
The pieces of art were seized from several federal court cases and are now forfeited to the government. Three of the cases involved Marc Dreier out of the Southern District of New York, Justin French out of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Shawn Merriman out of the District of Colorado. Proceeds generated from the auctions will be used to compensate the victims of the cases.
Dreier, 62, of New York was convicted in 2009 for fraud and money laundering $400 million and is serving time in a Minnesota federal prison with a release date scheduled in 2026. French, 41, of Richmond, Va., was convicted in 2011 for stealing millions from federal and state tax credit programs intended to rehabilitate historic buildings. He is incarcerated at a federal prison in West Virginia, with a scheduled release date in 2025. 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.