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For Immediate Release

Contact:
June 26, 2012 Lynzey Donahue, U.S. Marshals Service
(202) 307-9075;
Jason Rzepniewski, Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers
(512) 251-2780
U.S. Marshals Selling Works of Art by Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other Old Masters

WASHINGTON – 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.

“Green Bird,” by Marc Chagall Linocut by Pablo Picasso

“Green Bird,” by Marc Chagall and a linocut by Pablo Picasso are two of the pieces of art up for auction.

“Le Homme Endormi” by Henri Matisse Sheet music cover by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec

“Le Homme Endormi” by Henri Matisse and a sheet music cover by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec are two of the pieces of art up for auction.

For more information on the auctions, go to www.txauction.com

For more information on the criminal cases, go to:
Dreier: http://1.usa.gov/MP4sYt 
French: http://1.usa.gov/Lm6yVq 
Merriman: http://1.usa.gov/Lo7d6M 

The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for managing and selling seized and forfeited properties acquired by federal criminals through illegal activities. Proceeds generated from asset sales are used to compensate victims, supplement funding for law enforcement initiatives and support community programs. As part of the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Program, the Marshals currently manage more than 19,000 assets with a value of $4.4 billion.

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency