“Smoky and the Bandit” car among collection being auctioned off in fraud case
Vehicles seized in Ponzi scheme civil case
Nearly 150 collector cars, trucks and boats will be auctioned off in the coming days as part of a civil case federal authorities have against a failed solar power company.
The company, DC Solar, was involved in what federal law enforcement authorities say was a Ponzi scheme worth nearly $1 billon. Two employees of the company pleaded guilty in a California court Tuesday. Authorities said the company promised investors profits from portable solar generators that never occurred. According to the complaint, the employees paid earlier investors with money from newer investors.
The company owners, who have not been charged, used the money from investors for such things as sponsoring a NASCAR team, buying a baseball team, and amassing the car collection. They agreed to the auction to
Among the collection, a 2017, a dozen Camaros, nine Dodge Challengers including a 2018 SRT Demon, seven Ford Mustangs and several Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, including a 1978 version owned by Burt Reynolds given to him after the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.”
"It is rare for the U.S. Marshals to hold an auction of such a stunning collection of vehicles," stated Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lasha Boyden in the auction's announcement. "We've got classic 1960s Ford Mustangs, 1990s Humvees, a 1960 Austin-Healey, and even a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am that was owned by Burt Reynolds as a memento of the car he drove in the movie Smokey and the Bandit."
The auction is being held online and in person starting Saturday. The current bid on the Trans Am as of Thursday morning was $65,100.