CHICAGO (CBS) — A stable of high-end luxury cars once owned by a convicted north suburban businessman fetched nearly $2.3 million at auction on Tuesday.
The most coveted car once owned by Russell Cole–a 2003 Ferrari Enzo–was sold for $1,280,000. The cars were seized by the federal government as part of Cole’s conviction on mail fraud and money laundering charges.
The lot included some of the most coveted cars on the planet, as well as some more typical luxury vehicles, like Lexus and Mercedes Benz.
Here’s a breakdown of the sale:
A 2006 Lexus SC430 sold for $35,000; a 2006 Porsche Cayenne for $39,000: a 2008 Mercedes Benz for $ 66,500; a 2001 Superformance Cobra Kit for $48,000; a 2002 Aston Martin for $76,000; a 2008 Bentley Continental GTC for $152,000; a 2005 Porsche 911 GT2 for $135,000; a 2005 Ford GT for $155,500; a 2005 Ferrari Coupe F430 for $139,000; and a 2006 Lamborghini Murceilago for $165,000. Total: $2,291,000.
Here’s a look at some of the more expensive cars:
Federal agents said the loss of the cars can be almost as hurtful as a prison sentence.
“Not only has a criminal gone to jail for his crime, but the government has seized a significant portion of the illegal proceeds through asset forfeiture. The loss of exotic cars and homes can be just as devastating to an offender as jail time,” said IRS Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of the St. Paul Field Office.
Russell Cole and his wife, Abby, of Deerfield, ran a company called Chip Factory Inc.. They were convicted in Minneapolis of defrauding Best Buy of $41 million by overcharging for electronics and other equipment supplied to the retailer.
Russell Cole is serving a 15-year prison term. Abby Cole was sentenced to three years’ probation.
The vehicles were auctioned by the U.S. Treasury at an event at Manheim Milwaukee on April 19.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, proceeds from auctions are deposited in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. Revenues from the fund are used for law enforcement activities and for restitution to victims of fraud.
In court documents, Russell Cole once described the couple’s multimillion-dollar home on Deerfield’s Kenmore Avenue as “the house that Best Buy built.”