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U.S. Marshals’ muscle car auction turns heads

The U.S. Marshals auctioned nine vintage muscle cars Friday that were seized from the former president and part owner of a medical lab who pleaded guilty in 2013 to bribing doctors to use the lab's blood testing services.

The nine cars attracted total bids of more than $2.5 million, with a Superbird fetching the highest bid of $575,000.

As part of his plea deal, David Nicoll, 40, agreed to forfeit $50 million in assets.

He led Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services in Parsippany, New Jersey from 2006 to 2012 and was a part owner.

Juan Mattos, the U.S. Marshal for New Jersey, told the Star Ledger the Marshals had never auctioned so many vintage cars “in one fell swoop.”

“These were the mean machines built back in the ‘70s to rule the roads,” Mattos told the crowd before the start of bidding run by A.J. Willner Auctions.

The U.S. Marshals run the huge federal forfeiture program. Right now they have $2.4 billion in assets under management, consisting of more than 23,000 separate items.

They sell everything. Last year they auctioned a spy house in Montclair, New Jersey formerly owned by a couple who were part of a busted Russian espionage ring. In 2010, they sold Bernie Madoff's shoes -- 18 pairs of Belgian brand, Mr. Casual model, size 9W.

In the New Jersey lab case, the feds also seized from Nicoll and will auction eight seat licenses to Pittsburgh Steelers’ home games, four personal seat licenses to New York Jet home games in section 112, three Philadelphia Eagles’ seat licenses in section C25, and four clubhouse seats for the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, among other things.

He forfeited six other cars, including a $300,000 Ferrari and a $291,000 Corvette, that are being auctioned separately.

The winning bidder Friday for the Plymouth Road Runner Superbird, the Star Ledger said, was Tod Oseid of Big Red Sports Cars in Illinois. The car is pictured above.

John Ursini of Long Island paid $315,000 for a 1969 Chevrolet Yenko Camaro, right, "one of just 200 manufactured that year," the Star Ledger said.

Nicoll hasn't been sentenced yet. He faces between 17 and 22 years in prison.

So far, 16 doctors and 11 others have pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from Nicoll or helping him in the huge scheme.

One doctor took more than $700,000 in bribe payments and sent Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services more than $4.2 million in blood referrals, the DOJ said.

During the course of the conspiracy from 2006 to 2012, BLS made more than $200 million from testing blood specimens and related services.

"David Nicoll received more than $33 million in distributions from BLS during that same time period," the DOJ said.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.