The government has seized more than 2,000 works of art allegedly used to launder money raised fraudulently, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey said. They were appraised at nearly $16 million.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark announced Friday a complaint seeking to force the owner to forfeit the works, including an Alfred Stieglitz photograph that sold for $675,000. They were seized in July.
The government said the owner of Green Diesel, based in Houston, was trying to ship the works to Spain.
The complaint alleged company owner Philip Rivkin bought the artwork by selling credits for generating biodiesel fuel, though it did not produce any fuel. Rivkin has not been formally charged with a crime.
Rivkin attorney Kyle Sampson said he is working with officials "to resolve their concerns."