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Jackson Jr. Memorabilia Auction Canceled Over Guitar

Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, left, and Michael Jackson perform
Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, left, and Michael Jackson perform "Beat It" on stage at Texas Stadium in Dallas on July 14, 1984. Photographer: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A government auction of former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.’s forfeited memorabilia was canceled over questions about whether pop icon Michael Jackson and rock musician Eddie Van Halen had actually signed a guitar put up for bid.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Marshals Service will conduct a secondary review of all the assets,” the agency said today in a statement. “Once the review is complete, a decision will be made whether to repost any assets for sale by auction.”

Jackson, a former Illinois Democratic lawmaker and the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, was sentenced in August to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to taking $750,000 from his campaign accounts for personal use. Net proceeds from the memorabilia auction were to be used to help defray a $750,000 judgment imposed by the court as part of Jackson’s sentence.

His wife, Sandra Jackson, was sentenced to a year in prison on tax charges connected to the offense.

The cancellation followed questions raised by “concerned individuals” who provided information questioning the authenticity of the autographs, Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman for the Marshals Service, said in a statement.

Bidding on 13 items in Jackson’s collection had reached $14,136 when the auction was stopped at 10:30 a.m. New York time, according to Donahue.

The online auction began September 17 and was slated to continue through Sept. 26, according to Jason Rzepniewski, an auctioneer for Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers Inc., of Pflugerville, Texas, which was conducting the sale.

Pieces from Jackson’s collection up for bid include items owned by martial arts actor Bruce Lee as well as clothing such as women’s cashmere capes and a hooded mink parka.

The case is U.S. v. Jackson, 13-cr-00058, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Zajac in Washington at azajac@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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