Intelligence Report: Frank's Treasure Chest

August 15, 2012 4:25:47 PM PDT
At 75 years of age and in solitary confinement, the last thing Frank Calabrese needs is a diamond watch to track the minutes slowly passing. Nor does he have much need for gold cufflinks or a money clip. And it's a good thing. The government has sold most of his prized possessions.

Engraved watches, loose diamonds and fourteen carat gold pocket knives are just some of the luxury items seized from Calabrese and sold by the U.S. Government, according to recently filed government documents.

Convicted killer Frank "the Breeze" Calabrese spent his life keeping a low profile, practicing what he preached - that being flashy might cause unwanted attention. But that didn't stop him from engraving his initials on jewelry like a gold money clip that fetched $2,100 during last month's auction.

Calabrese was one of several hoodlums convicted in a 2009 racketeering conspiracy case that featured 18 unsolved murders. He was blamed for 13, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay nearly $4-and-a-half million in restitution. The auction proceeds will go toward that restitution obligation to the families of his murdered victims.

After Calabrese went down, authorities raided his home here in suburban oak brook. In this secret compartment behind a Calabrese family portrait, agents found these rare, large denomination bills, jewelry, loose diamonds and some guns.

Dozens of $1,000 and $500 bills, printed in the 1920s and 30s, were auctioned in 2011.

According to records filed late last week, the marshal's service and a Texas auction house brought in $366,000, after paying auction house fees and expenses of about $52,000.

Two hundred and forty two pieces of jewelry were bid on. The top seller? A men's white-gold, diamond ring that brought in $19,400.

One thing not on the sale block: more than a dozen audio tapes that were found hidden in Calabrese's basement. Federal authorities have never revealed what was recorded on them and why they were so important that they were stashed with the cash.

The forfeiture of Calabrese's assets is typical of how the government seizes and sells property owned by criminals. It is usually after they are convicted. But not always.

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