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Going once, Going twice…

Bargain hunters will be bidding against professional dealers when thousands of items seized from disgraced financier R. Allen Stanford's Houston offices are auctioned. Money from the event will help pay lawyers and investors. Pat Hernandez has more.


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Inside a sweltering 20-thousand square foot warehouse in northeast Houston, potential bidders were examining items that once belonged to the man accused of bilking investors out of 7-billion dollars in a giant Ponzi scheme. They include guns, boxes of fine china to serve 50 people, an elaborate antique desk and pallets of computers, printers and other office equipment and furniture seized from Stanford’s 2 Houston offices. Buzz-worthy items include bottles of wine and champagne. Seth Worstell won a competitive bid to sell the lot:

“We had the opportunity a few years back, we were contracted by a broker that let us sell some of the ENRON stuff. We had the opportunity to sell some of the stuff out of the executive floors, but nothing quite as big as big as this sale. This is probably the biggest we’ve done, not the amount of quality stuff but, very nice sale for us.”

Infamous Baccarat crystal eagle
Infamous Baccarat crystal eagle
worth an estimated 55-thousand dollars

I caught up to a couple of people examining the items.

Male bidder: “Well, there are some very good things here, but there are some things that are dated, like the computer equipment’s pretty dated and the TVs and that, but I have my eyes specifically on the Baccarat crystal pieces.”

PH: “Miss Pat, so what do you think about this, are you pretty impressed?”

Pat: “No, I don’t see the high end, other than the plates that I was looking for, and I think right now in this economy, office furniture is going for pennies on the dollar so.”

PH: “So, you think that the notoriety of who this used to belong to, will attract bidders and therefore be dictating how high this might go?”

Pat: “A lot of times, people come to auctions, and they’re not satisfied unless they leave with something.”

Auctioneer Seth Worstell says much of what they sell comes from large, well-known companies that move, go out of business or renovate their offices. He expects the Stanford auction to draw a lot of bidders.

“Well, it’s gonna be an all day event. The auction sale actually starts at ten o’clock, but the Stanford assets will start at noon, and that kind of gives everybody a timeline. If they’re only interested in Standford stuff, they can show up around noon, maybe show up a little bit before to get registered. But in any case, it’s probably gonna take most of the afternoon to sell. It’s quite a bit of merchandise here.”

He thinks the lot could for as high as 250-thousand dollars…proceeds that will help pay lawyers and recoup some investor losses.

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