By Arnold M. Knightly and Jack Johnson, Boulder City Review
The federal raid on a Foothill Drive storage facility Friday morning is connected to the Wednesday night arrest of an international fugitive in Las Vegas, according to a law enforcement official.
Federal officials arrested 51-year-old Ulrich Felix Anton Engler on a U.S. immigration violation, according to the Associated Press. Engler is a German man sought for five years in a more than $100 million financial fraud scheme, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs officials.
The FBI and the global policing body INTERPOL conducted the Friday raid that led to the discovery of more than $20 million in art, jewelry and cash in the Foothill storage facility, according to law enforcement.
“We had reason to believe Mr. Engler is using the storage site to store artwork he had purchased with the money he had gotten through his financial fraud scheme,” FBI special agent Patrick Turner said.
More than 1,000 pieces of art were recovered, Turner said.
The Boulder City Review observed federal agents removing paintings from the storage unti, measuring them and loading them into a truck Friday.
“We will have to take it and have it all examined and determine what it is,” Turner said. He said he was unaware if there was any additional artwork elsewhere, such as Engler’s home, because the FBI was only investigating the Boulder City storage unit.
Engler is in ICE custody pending his transfer in custody to Germany.
According to the Associated Press, Engler is accused of using the names Joseph Miller and Joseph Walter, and of using a company in Cape Coral, Fla., to defraud investors in a pyramid scheme.
ICE says Engler has been sought as an international fugitive by INTERPOL on a warrant issued in December 2007 in Mannheim, Germany. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
ICE said Engler was living in Nevada under the name Joseph Miller.