Hundreds of iconic works of art by masters like Chagall, Rembrandt and Picasso seized from convicted white-collar criminals are being auctioned by the U.S. Marshal Service to compensate victims.
Henri Matisse’s “Le Homme Endormi” and Picasso’s “Head of a Woman” are among the 245 pieces up for grabs until July 2 as part of the ongoing auction. Bids for those pieces have reached $4,050 and $5,100, respectively, as of Wednesday afternoon and are expected to rise.
Other bids include $8,051 for Marc Chagall’s “Green Bird,” $510 for a sheet music cover by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and $5,950 for Rembrandt’s “Christ Appearing to the Apostles.”
The works were seized in connection to several federal cases, including that of Marc Dreier, 62, of New York, who was convicted in 2009 for fraud and money laundering $400 million. He is now serving time in Minnesota with a scheduled release date in 2026.
Another case involved Justin French, 41, of Richmond, Va., who was convicted in 2011 for stealing millions from federal and state tax credit programs intended to rehabilitate historic buildings. French, who is incarcerated in a federal prison in West Virginia, is scheduled for release in 2025.
Some of the items were also seized from Shawn Merriman, 49, of Aurora, Colo., who was convicted in 2010 for mail fraud that bilked 67 investors of millions of dollars. He is expected to be released from a federal prison in South Dakota sometime in 2020.