Internal Revenue Service agents seized art and antiques today from a Ocean City beachfront condominium belonging to Jeffrey and Karol Levitt in an effort to recover assets for payment of $1.6 million the IRS says the couple owes in back taxes.
In the second such raid in as many days, IRS agents arrived with a locksmith and a moving van and loaded up valuables belonging to the former president of Old Court Savings & Loan. The seized items, which today included etchings, pottery, figurines, antiques and a large-screen television set, are being held in storage by the IRS and may eventually be sold at auction.
Monday, IRS agents seized art, fur coats, jewelry, silver bars, silver tableware, antiques and at least $60,000 in cash and cashier's checks from the Levitts' home in a Baltimore suburb.
IRS spokesman Domenic LaPonzina said the agency does not know the total value of the items it has seized, but he said that three of the cars -- classic Rolls-Royces -- are alone believed to be worth more than $300,000.
LaPonzina said the IRS may end up turning over the Levitts' assets to the state if it can be shown that the items were bought with money that belonged to the state or to Old Court depositors.
The Levitts are defendants in a $200 million suit filed by the state against former officials of Old Court, whose activities triggered a run on deposits at the Baltimore thrift and the beginning of the state's savings and loan crisis last May.
Jeffrey Levitt was sent to prison last week to begin serving an 18-month sentence for contempt of court in that case after exceeding spending limits imposed by a judge. Karol Levitt has begun serving a sentence of 15 weekends for the contempt of court conviction.
Jeffrey Levitt also is facing a criminal trial for alleged theft and misappropriation of $14.6 million in thrift funds.
Attorneys for the Maryland Deposit Insurance Fund, Old Court's receiver, are trying to recover an additional $446,000 from Levitt and another former Old Court official, Jerome C. Cardin. In court papers filed here this week, MDIF said the two men borrowed $1.2 million from Old Court to buy a corporate jet.
MDIF alleges that in 1984, Levitt and Cardin formed a corporation called Two-J Airlines Inc. for the purpose of borrowing money for the jet, which they wanted for personal use. The loan was approved, even though the corporation had no assets and Cardin and Levitt did not guarantee the loan.
MDIF said it sold the jet for $1 million last fall. After accounting for various fees and interest payments, the agency said Cardin and Levitt still owe $446,000.