Throngs of bargain hunters will descend on Taylor County on Saturday as seized goods worth hundreds of thousands of dollars goes on the auction block.
Diamond rings, a fiery red 1966 Ford Mustang, autographed baseballs, Kentucky Derby memorabilia, and a 68,000-square-foot warehouse are some of the 368 items up for grabs.
“It’s all going to sell, regardless of what it brings,” auctioneer Jim Davis said.
A couple of months ago, Sheriff Jeff Watson seized the local property of Robert O. Cartwright in a $9.6 million civil award for his former employer, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. In 2014, a Fulton County jury awarded the money after finding that Cartwright had committed fraud and had breached a fiduciary duty to Fuji.
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Cartwright, a former Fuji vice president, also faces criminal charges related to an alleged kickback scheme and fraudulent transfer of funds.
The money collected at auction will go toward the award, although the items are expected to bring only a fraction of the multimillion-dollar judgment.
“We don’t get anything for it,” Watson said. “It’s just part of the responsibilities and duties of the Sheriff’s Office.”
Photographs of Major League Baseball greats Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig, 73 autographed baseballs and four signed footballs are among the sports collectibles, as well as about two dozen framed jerseys, some of them autographed.
“It’s a wide array of things,” Watson said.
Cartwright’s guns, including a Glock 9 mm automatic pistol and a Ruger 22/45 Lite pistol and several rifles, will also be sold along with two swords.
Davis is not sure how much the items will bring, including an $8,000 Rolex Yacht Master watch.
“I’m used to selling police cars and bulldozers, but we’ve sold something of everything,” he said.
Auction items are listed on the T. Lynn Davis Realty and Auction Co. website, www.tlynndavis.com, and will be available for preview Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Gresco warehouse.
The auction, which is expected to last until midafternoon, begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at the old Gresco Manufacturing warehouse on Ga. 96 in Reynolds, which also is for sale.
“I think it’ll be a good crowd,” Watson said.