Auction starts for big diamond seized in Ohio case

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2011 3:06 PM
Auction starts for big diamond seized in Ohio case

A large yellow diamond seized in a money laundering investigation in Ohio has gone on the auction block and quickly attracted an offer over the minimum starting bid of $900,000.

The U.S. Marshals Service's online auction of the 43.51-carat Golden Eye diamond began Tuesday and continues until Thursday afternoon. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, four bids were submitted, including one for $1.5 million.

The diamond belonged to a northeastern Ohio businessman who was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he tried to sell the diamond and an estate once owned by boxer Mike Tyson to an undercover FBI agent for $19.5 million and a boat.

The diamond was seized and forfeited to the government. The U.S. Marshals Service contracted with Silver Spring, Md.-based company Bid4Assets to auction it online.