$19m of art used in money laundering seized

Last updated 15:46 02/03/2013

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The United States government has seized more than 2000 works of art that have allegedly been used to launder money raised through fraud.

The artworks were appraised at nearly $US16 million ($NZ19.4m).

On Friday, the US Attorney's Office in Newark announced a February 22 court filing seeking to force the owner to forfeit the works, including an Alfred Stieglitz photograph that sold for $US675,000. ($NZ818,200).

They were seized from a warehouse in July.

The government said the owner of a Houston-based company known as Green Diesel was trying to ship the works to Spain.

The complaint alleges Green's owner, Philip Rivkin, bought the artwork by selling credits for generating biodiesel fuel, though it did not produce any fuel.

A lawyer who has previously represented Green Diesel did not return calls on Friday.

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- AP

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