PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - Inside an average looking metal building in Pflugerville, you’ll find something inside out of the ordinary.
Rows and rows of bridal gowns and formal wear; nearly two thousand in all. The dresses were shipped to Central Texas by the U.S.Marshal's service. They're off the rack and going up for bid by Gaston - Sheehan auctioneers.
"Yeah we try to time it so if there were some June brides that are out there looking for wedding dresses we'd have some available. So as they say, timing is everything,” said auction owner Bob Sheehan.
The first of five rounds of online auctions to clear out the inventory is now underway.
"There's some nice merchandise, I'd say mid-range to lower high dollar wedding dresses and prom dresses, bride maid’s dresses,” said Sheehan.
The dresses were seized from a Maryland woman who ran a bridal shop outside of Washington D.C. Prosecutors say she kept the business afloat by embezzling money from a nonprofit she worked for. The case was finalized last year, allowing for the dresses to be sold.
The auction warehouse looks almost something out of an Indiana Jones movie. But it’s not the most outrageous auction this Pflugerville Company has had. In December, U.S. Marshal's came to Austin and smashed thousands of bottles of cheap wine that a con-man tried to sell as rare vintages.
"So he had his own operation of making fake labels making fake corks making fake wine caps and bottles … and then sell as genuine,” said Jason Martinez with the USMS Asset Forfeiture Division.
The wine that wasn't fake was auctioned off by Gaston - Sheehan. The Marshal's Service raised 1.5 million dollars. The cash from the auctions reimburses crime victims but typically it’s only a fraction of what was lost. For example; the wedding dresses are expected to fetch less than a hundred thousand dollars, while the Maryland embezzlement case that brought them to this Texas warehouse exceeded $5-million.
Click here for the Gaston - Sheehan Online Auction.
Click here for a list of the auctioned items and their descriptions.
Click here for the U.S. Marshal's Service list of current auction items.