Thursday, January 29, 2004

Erpenbeck items to sell on Internet

BMW, Redskins jersey, mink, jewelry up for grabs

By James McNair
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The last of Bill Erpenbeck's family possessions seized by the FBI will be auctioned off next month - on the Internet.

The items were seized while Erpenbeck was under federal investigation for bank fraud in 2002. Erpenbeck pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud last April and agreed to surrender the items as part of his agreement to make restitution to fraud victims.

Bidding is open to anyone with access to a computer. The following items can be previewed at the auction house's Web site,

• A red 2001 BMW 325 convertible with automatic transmission and 26,693 miles on the odometer.

• Washington Redskins jerseys autographed by former quarterbacks Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams and Mark Rypien.

• A full-length Adolfo natural ranch mink coat, size 12, with a small tear on the back.

• A man's 18-karat Rolex gold Submariner watch, a 14-karat gold necklace with seven diamonds and a pair of gold earrings, each with 18 princess-cut diamonds.

The sales are being overseen by the U.S. Marshal's Service, which has already sold two motorcycles and two golf carts taken from Erpenbeck's former house in Crestview Hills. The government grossed $23,650 from the sale of those vehicles.

"What we want to do is maximize the return from these assets," said Jason Wojdylo, a spokesman for the marshals service. "We are not going to realize the total loss for the victims in the case."

The insolvency of the Erpenbeck Co., a homebuilding company in Edgewood, in April 2002 led to claims of about $100 million from banks, subcontractors, homeowners and other creditors. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee sold the Erpenbeck house last March for $1.2 million. The contents went for a total of $147,000.

Wojdylo said about 90 percent of his agency's asset sale proceeds would be available for disbursement to victims identified by the U.S. Probation Office.

Wojdylo said the Erpenbecks have made a $9,000 offer for their 1996 Honda Odyssey minivan. Federal marshals will sell two older automobiles in a separate auction. Two stock holdings and a life insurance policy remain unaccounted for, he said.


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