So How is the U.S. Seizing the SuperYachts and Horses Going?

It’s not cheap maintaining all of the assets the government seizes, especially those super yachts Biden lifted in his moment of pique with Russia.

  • Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s Tango was impounded.
  • Cost of maintaining the vessel could exceed $9 million a year
When the superyacht Tango was seized by Spain at the behest of the U.S., it marked a high-profile victory for the Justice Department’s KleptoCapture unit, a new group formed to track down the assets of sanctioned Russian oligarchs and others close to President Vladimir Putin.

Now comes the mundane — and somewhat awkward — part of confiscating Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s $95 million vessel: paying for yacht maintenance

It’s not just the cost of maintenance. The U.S. is spending millions of dollars trying to confiscate assets. It turns out other governments are not always willing to just hand over the boats. As it turns out, whose boats they take is questionable at best. Just how does one prove they are a buddy of Putin.

Here is a story out of Great Britain recently.

But it’s not Russia’s stuff that the government seizes and has to maintain. How about this horse the government took that they thought was a good idea?
The US Government sold a $750,000 showjumping horse back to its owner for just $25,000 after realizing it would cost too much to look after, Bloomberg reported.

Authorities initially seized the horse, called Lex, after its owner, the Atlanta accountant Jack Fisher, was indicted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in connection with tax fraud worth $1.3 billion along with four other individuals.

Bloomberg reported that federal agents soon realized it would cost between $45,000 to $50,000 a year to feed and care for Lex, excluding medical costs.

The horse’s value had dropped sharply, with an examination determining it to be worth $145,000, according to the report.

The US Attorney’s Office in Atlanta then agreed to return the horse to Christina for $25,000, on the understanding that they could collect more if her father was convicted.

The US is facing huge costs to maintain assets such as superyachts seized from Russian oligarchs, according to US national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

“I know. It’s so ridiculous, but you know what the craziest thing is? When we seize one, we have to pay for upkeep,” Sullivan says in reply. “The federal government pays for upkeep because under the kind of forfeiture rubric, so like some people are basically being paid to maintain Russian superyachts on behalf of the United States government.”

The US Marshals Service, which takes control of seized property, has a network of private contractors that often do the day-to-day maintenance. Seized assets are often stored to make that work easier, with cars placed in specialized lots or boats put in dry docks.

Maybe giving back some of the boats might be a good idea since it sure didn’t seem to have much effect on Vlad. Once again showing the wisdom our government uses in making decisions.
The best of the swamp today.

19 Responses to “So How is the U.S. Seizing the SuperYachts and Horses Going?”

  1. geeez2014 Says:

    When I first saw this story, I thought WHY DO WE HAVE TO PAY FOR THE UPKEEP? Absolutely ridiculous!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terri D. Says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Baysider Says:

    Def: the action or practice of showing off, implied without useful intent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markone1blog Says:

    Don’t be such a cheap skate, Bunker. Remember that Biden still pays $3 million per day to not build the border wall. This for this special wall around his beach house and special fencing for his state of the onion speech (it couldn’t have been union — there’s no union under Biden).


  5. If All You See... - Pirate's Cove » Pirate's Cove Says:

    […] blog of the day is Bunkerville, with a post on how the whole seizing Russian yachts is […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nrringlee Says:

    Civil asset forfeiture is a travesty of justice and is a wide open door for abuse. Many law enforcement agencies avoid the cost of storage and maintenance by simply stealing the property.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mustang Says:

    No one should expect a perfect government. Nothing of the sort ever existed. But neither should we expect our government — given its uniqueness in the world — to engage in corrupt, dishonest, sinful behavior. Well, that’s where we are today. I wretch to think that what we have now is “okay” with any American. We have arrived at this doorstep: no matter who we vote for, it is a nose-holding event.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      The mask is off with this one. So few apparently appreciate how this looks to the world. No different than a third rate bully with a bigger stick thus can take things. Interesting in the report they comment that Jake Sullivan’s comment was immediately removed since it was a surprise to him that the U.S. would have to pay for the upkeep of the treasure.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Baysider Says:

      Agree!! I note the key phrase in the tax story is “was indicted” not WAS CONVICTED. This guy sure ‘sounds’ skanky, and it may be prudent to set up a mechanism to freeze assets with a trustee doling out reasonable living and legal expenses until the court case is done. But to INDICT and STEAL – to quote Margaret Thatcher: NO, NO NO, NO NO!!! Even after conviction, those assets do NOT belong to the government but to people defrauded by the criminal activity. The government will find a way to pump up their prosecution costs to ‘recover’ as much as they can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        You have a sharp eye… as soon as I posted it I caught it and debated… Before its news picked it up so didn’t think I should add to it- change it.. 🙂


  8. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Once again, there is something criminal itself about “asset forfeiture”, or “theft by government”.
    it has a long history. It was a plot device in “The Count of Monte Christo” if you recall.
    Find a political adversary and steal his stuff. Of course, then he’ll have no assets to defend himself with should he actually be innocent.
    Which is really the point.
    Did these idiots think they might sell these yachts to other oligarchs?

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      It is a demonstration to the world that our so called rule of law is lacking…. what the U.S. is doing to our own citizens now thinks it can do to the world. Yes, I think so, selling them off such as the DEA so cleverly does. Agreed. Asset forteiture is a road with no exit. I cannot believe that the Supremes have upheld it so far.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Baysider Says:

      One of the reasons we’ve been long contributors to the Institute for Justice who fights a lot of these cases.

      Liked by 1 person

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