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U.S. Marshals Service Auctions

U.S. Marshals Service seized vehicle and vessel auctions conducted throughout 83 districts across the nation.

Nationwide (PUBLIC AUCTION) ends 8/6/2024 11 AM ET ENTER AUCTION

Nationwide (SALVAGE DEALER) ends 8/6/2024 12 PM ET ENTER AUCTION

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The U.S. Marshals Service, an emblem of American law enforcement, has a history that dates back to 1789, making it one of the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country. While many recognize the Marshals for their pivotal role in capturing fugitives and managing federal prisons, fewer are aware of their unique involvement in auctioning seized assets. This aspect of their operations not only highlights their diverse responsibilities but also sheds light on a fascinating intersection of law enforcement and economics. 

The Genesis of Auctions by the U.S. Marshals Service

The auctioning activities of the U.S. Marshals began as a byproduct of their law enforcement duties. When assets are seized from criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, fraud, and other federal crimes, they eventually need to be repurposed in a manner that benefits the public. Enter the U.S. Marshals Service, which takes charge of these assets, ranging from real estate to luxury vehicles, and from artwork to cryptocurrency, turning them into public revenue through auctions.

Possible Reasons for Seizure

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) can seize items for several reasons, primarily related to their roles in law enforcement and the administration of the justice system.

Here are some of the key reasons for seizure:

  1. Criminal Forfeiture: If property is used in the commission of a crime or obtained as a result of criminal activity, it can be seized and subject to forfeiture. This includes items like vehicles used for transporting illegal drugs or homes purchased with proceeds from criminal activities.

  2. Civil Forfeiture: Similar to criminal forfeiture but does not require the conviction of the property owner. Property that is suspected of being involved in or the proceeds of crime can be seized under civil forfeiture laws.

  3. Asset Forfeiture: In broader terms, assets can be seized in both criminal and civil proceedings if they are connected to criminal activities. This includes bank accounts, stocks, and other financial assets.

  4. Execution of Warrants: The Marshals may seize items as part of the execution of search warrants or arrest warrants, where they are authorized to collect evidence related to criminal investigations.

  5. Legal Judgments: Property can be seized to satisfy a legal judgment or court order. For example, if a court orders the seizure of assets to pay for fines, restitution, or civil judgments.

  6. Protective Custody: In some cases, property might be taken into protective custody if it is deemed at risk of damage or destruction, particularly in volatile or hazardous situations.

  7. Administrative Enforcement: This includes the enforcement of regulations and laws where seizure of property is a component, such as confiscating counterfeit goods or unauthorized items.

 

The Marshals Service is integral to these processes, ensuring that all seizures are conducted in accordance with the law and that the property is properly managed until it is legally disposed of by contractors like Apple Auctioneering Co.

How U.S. Marshals Auctions Work

The process is straightforward yet meticulously regulated. Once assets are legally cleared for sale, they are appraised and prepared for auction by federal contractors like Apple Towing Co. The U.S. Marshals partner with professional auctioneers such as Apple Auctioneering Co and utilize our online auction platforms to reach a wide audience. These auctions are open to the public, allowing anyone to participate and bid on a variety of items, from tangible property to intangible assets.

Memorable Auctions and Their Impact

Over the years, the U.S. Marshals have conducted several high-profile auctions that have captured public attention. For instance, the sale of assets seized from infamous criminals and fraudsters often garners media coverage, not only because of the notoriety of the individuals involved but also due to the unique items up for auction. From luxury cars owned by drug kingpins to rare collectibles from Ponzi scheme operators, these auctions offer a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles funded by illicit activities.

The Evolution of Auction Techniques

Initially, U.S. Marshals auctions were held in-person, requiring bidders to be physically present. However, with advancements in technology and the rise of the internet, these auctions have increasingly moved online. This shift has expanded the pool of potential bidders, maximizing the return on sold assets. Online auctions have also increased transparency, allowing for a broader audience to view auction processes and participate in bidding from anywhere in the world.

The Future of U.S. Marshals Auctions

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, so too will the auction methods of the U.S. Marshals. With the advent of blockchain technology and the increasing acceptance of cryptocurrencies, future auctions may involve more digital assets and possibly the use of blockchain for auction operations. This evolution will likely enhance the efficiency, security, and accessibility of auctions, broadening their appeal and impact.

The auction history of the U.S. Marshals is a testament to the agency's adaptability and commitment to its mission. By turning assets seized from criminal activities into public revenue, these auctions serve a dual purpose of deterring crime and contributing to the public good. As we look to the future, the continued evolution of these auctions promises to keep them at the forefront of law enforcement and public interest. For those intrigued by the intersection of law, economics, and technology, the auction activities of the U.S. Marshals offer a fascinating and evolving narrative worth following.

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How to register:

  1. Select the auction you wish to participate in.

  2. In the menu bar, create an account by clicking "Login / New Bidder" or by clicking "Register to Bid" button. Click the "New Bidder? Click Here" button. Enter your email address when prompted. A new window will pop up instructing you to complete your account information. The username and password that is created will be utilized for all future online auctions. Important: The information provided when setting up the bidder account will be the information automatically assigned on the title work.

  3. Once your account has been created select the auction that you wish to participate in by clicking on the title of the auction or by clicking the "View Catalog" button. Click on the "Register to Bid" button. Enter your user name and password then accept the Terms & Conditions. You are now ready to place your online bids. 

How to place a bid:

  1. Once registered, select the lot you wish to place a bid on. You may click the "Bid (amount here)" button for a one time bid, or enter your "Maximum Auto Bid" by selecting the lot and physically typing in the highest you are willing to bid for that item. 

  2. Technical bidding details to understand and consider: 

  3. Soft Close: All lots end with a "Soft Close." A "Soft Close" means that if any bid is placed within the last three (3) minutes of the close of the Auction, the bid will automatically extend the closing time an additional three (3) minutes. Example: If a bid is placed at two (2) minutes before close, it will extend the closing time to five (5) minutes. This feature protects Bidders from being outbid without the opportunity to be notified, and therefore allows a Bidder to place another bid before the close of the Auction.

  4. Placing a "Maximum Auto Bid": Please be aware that when placing your "Maximum Bid", the website will bid on the Bidder's behalf at the preset bid increment until the Bidder’s "Maximum bid" is exceeded. At that point, the Bidder will be notified that they have been outbid (if that option is selected when registering). High Bidder will only pay one increment more than the competing Bidder. Please watch the Auction’s closing time stop-clock to determine exactly when the lot will close.

"I've placed a bid, but it says Pending." Now what?

Pending Bids are bids that are placed that are not immediately accepted or put into effect by the Auction Company. Typical reasons for pending bids are as follows:

  • First-Time Bidder: New accounts or first-time bidders that have never participated in our auctions will be thoroughly analyzed and vetted. 

  • Bidder Reputation: We are part of a nationwide network of auctioneers that utilize the Hibid bidding platform. Hibid has developed a rating system for Bidders to protect auctioneers. Bidders accrue points placing bids and registering for auctions. Any time a Bidder is permanently declined by an auctioneer, the bidder loses 20 points. If a bidder has a negative score, he or she may not be able to bid with other auctioneers on the Hibid platform.

  • Dealer Only Salvage Auctions: Additional bidding qualifications on assets offered with salvage/ dismantler notations must be met prior to the auction closing. Salvage dealers that wish to bid on these assets must submit a current copy of their State issued Salvage Dealer license for review. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT LICENSE. Once approved, the Auction Company will update the Bidder's account and any bids that are Pending will be approved/ accepted. This must take place prior to the auction closing. These bidding privileges will remain in effect until the expiration date on the license. It is the Bidder's responsibility to resubmit a new license upon renewal to avoid Pending bids.

  • Asset Requires a Deposit: When a deposit is required, see Section (6) of the Terms & Conditions for step-by-step deposit instructions.

 

You've won! What to expect once the auction closes:

  1. Once all items in the auction close, email notifications will be sent (from bidresults@appletowing.com) to all participating bidders with the final results. For each lot the bidder bids on it will list "successful" or "outbid." The auction company will be seeking final approval from the U.S. Treasury on all lots at this time. 

  2. Once approval is received, high bidders will receive an email (from approval@appletowing.com) with payment instructions and our bank account information (options: wire, bank deposit, or cashier's check overnight). Please check your email (and junk mail) periodically after receiving this notice. Payment must be RECEIVED within 48 hours of acceptance.

  3. Once payment is received, the auction company will execute the title documents and email them to the buyers via DocuSign for electronic signature. 

  4. Once documents are signed by the buyer, Property Release documents will be emailed to the buyer as well as the storage vendor.

  5. Once Property Release email received,  buyer must immediately contact storage vendor to arrange property removal. 

  6. Original title documents will be mailed to buyers. Once originals title documents received, originals need to be processed at local DMV. 

Please note: these assets will remain in the name of the defendant in which they were seized, until the titles are processed with the state. It is very important that the titles be transferred with your local tax office immediately upon receipt.  

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