The spoils of two convicted Richmond scammers will soon be up for grabs.
Items seized by federal authorities from the estates of infamous local developer Justin French and Midlothian fraudster James F. Price will be sold next week by Motley’s Auction and Realty Group.
French is serving a 16-year prison sentence in Fort Dix, N.J., for illegally milking the tax-credit system as he built his Richmond real estate empire.
Price, 61, ran a multimillion-dollar scam through his former company Madison Precious Metals. He was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced in June to 51 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Motley’s President Mark Motley said his company has a service agreement with the U.S. marshals office to auction cars, equipment and other personal property confiscated during investigations.
“Once the defendant has been convicted, the marshals have the right to start liquidating assets for some form of retribution,” Motley said.
French was ordered to pay $7.7 million in restitution to victims of his fraud.
The court ordered Price to pay $4.2 million to his victims.
An abstract 9-foot-by-9-foot sculpture that French purchased during his rise will be among the items on the block. The sculpture is entitled “Kiskya” and is by local artist Steven Bickley.
Pieces from Price’s antique-furniture and art collections will also be up for sale.
“When you’re spending somebody else’s money, you have a tendency to spend more than you normally would,” Motley said of the quality of the items of for sale.
The auction, on Sept. 25, will coincide with a celebration that Motley is holding to recognize the 45th anniversary of the company started by his parents in 1967.
In addition to the live auction at the Motley’s headquarters and showroom at 4402 W. Broad St., a party with food, music and cocktails will begin at 5 p.m.
Motley, who started in the business when he was 13, took over in 1988 after his father retired.
He’s not the only employee still around from those days.
“Believe it or not, we have a lady who has been with us almost that entire time,” Motley said. “She was the third employee after my mom, dad and me.”
Although the timing of the anniversary and the auction of French and Price’s belongings is coincidental, Motley said it doesn’t hurt to have some of the treasures of two notorious Richmonders to help the company celebrate the day.
Motley’s has handled other French property since the developer’s conviction.
Most recently, Motley’s auctioned off two undeveloped warehouses in Scott’s Addition that French had planned to turn into apartments.
Motley recalled a time in the 1980s when the company auctioned off the riches of another infamous local.
“There was a gentleman by the name of Clyde Pitchford — they called him Clyde the Glide.” Motley recalled. “He had a Ponzi scheme in the early ’80s, took a bunch of folks for millions. He tipped 50 percent and drove a Rolls Royce.”