Seized Jewelry Auction Raises $108,000 For State

Date:  November 13, 2008

RALEIGH – A public auction of seized jewelry yielded approximately $108,000 during a 4½ -hour sale held today in the Holshouser Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. The auction was conducted by the State Surplus Property Agency of the N.C. Department of Administration in collaboration with the Unauthorized Substance Tax Division (USUB) of the N.C. Department of Revenue.

“The direct benefit to the state was huge, since we did everything in house,” said State Surplus Property Officer Randy Lee, one of several licensed auctioneers who worked the event. “The last time seized jewelry was auctioned was nine years ago, with an outside vendor who charged a 10 percent commission plus fees. This time, with everything being done at actual cost, the savings were significant.”

About 200 bidders registered to participate in the auction, with 67 individual bidders making purchases.

The items were seized by the USUB Division, which collects taxes owed on controlled substances such as marijuana and cocaine that is seized by law enforcement officers. Seventy-five percent of the money collected is returned to the state or local law enforcement agency whose investigation led to the assessment. The remaining 25 percent of the money collected is credited to the General Fund. Normally, the seized items are sold through the sealed bid process.

The state’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Transportation played a significant role in coordinating the auction.

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