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Prosecutors All Shook Up Over Suspicious Elvis Finds

Prosecutors All Shook Up Over Suspicious Elvis Finds: British prosecutors trying to hit tough new government targets for seizing criminal assets face an unexpected conundrum: how do you raise the maximum amount of money from selling off Elvis Presley memorabilia?

The Crown Prosecution Service, which has confiscated an estimated £500,000 worth of Elvis paraphernalia from a convicted thief, is puzzling over whether to offload it now – or whether to wait for next year’s 30th anniversary of the King’s death.

The case, with its complex mix of sentiment, economics and the law, is seen as an unusual example of the challenges around converting confiscated assets into what one prosecutor describes as “cash in the tin” for victims and the authorities.

Gary Balch, head of the CPS’ confiscation unit, said in an interview that the authorities were juggling the prospect of profiting from Elvis fever next year against the costs of delay, such as interest.

“It’s not straightforward,” Mr Balch said. “We want to get the maximum back.”

The collection of thousands of records and other items were seized from Julie Wall, a council worker who was jailed last year for stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds of car parking fees to fund her obsession.

Chris Giles, owner of The Elvis Shop in East London, said the sale would probably be Britain’s biggest-ever Elvis bonanza, featuring valuable items such as a 10-inch Japanese version of the album Love Me Tender worth several thousand pounds.

“She’s got to have one of the biggest collections in this country,” Mr Giles said. “Probably, next to me, it’s the best.”

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers of Derbyshire, which is conducting the sale, said it had been working with elvis.co.uk, a fan website, to tie the auction in with a big party two months before the death anniversary in August.

Source: Financial Times

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