EDISON, N.J. - Twenty-one cars owned by financier Marty Frankel were auctioned yesterday for $757,500, a fraction of the money he is accused of skimming from insurance companies before he fled to Europe two years ago.
The 46-year-old Toledo native, who is accused of plotting one of the nation's largest insurance frauds, was extradited last month from Germany to the United States, where he is awaiting trial.
The auctioned cars - mostly shiny, black Mercedeses, Lexuses, and BMWs - drew bidders from as far away as Georgia and Ohio. The Treasury Department auction was held to raise money for victims of Frankel's alleged $200 million fraud.
The sale's total exceeded the high estimate of $600,000, said Britney Bartlett, spokeswoman for auction company EG&G Technical Services, Inc.
The government holds seized-property auctions every nine weeks at the nondescript warehouse off the New Jersey Turnpike. But the lure of like-new luxury cars formerly owned by Frankel drew 1,500 people, and 1,025 registered to bid.
Frankel is charged along with several others with racketeering, wire and securities fraud, and money laundering. He is accused of looting insurance firms in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Regulators in those states are seeking more than $600 million in damages from Frankel in civil cases.40.52805 -74.38463