Federal agents have seized a rare Italian sports car they believe was illegally imported by a California man and his co-conspirators.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials alleged Monday that automotive engineer Claudio Zampolli, the creator of the 1994 Cizeta, brought it into the country in 2001 for maintenance and repairs. It is one of fewer than a dozen produced and sold for about $600,000. It was supposed to be exported within a year.

The government said the vehicle's stay in the country violates customs rules. They said it is illegal to sell the car because it does not meet U.S. environmental and safety standards.

A call to Zampolli's attorney was not immediately returned.