Some of embattled San Antonio oil and gas entrepreneur Brian K. Alfaro’s personal property — from expensive Swiss watches to Vespa scooters — are hitting the auction block.
A bankruptcy judge Tuesday afternoon gave the OK for the sale of some of Alfaro’s property. It had been seized to satisfy an $8 million court judgment obtained by investors he allegedly defrauded.
Sports memorabilia, including signed basketballs and jerseys, were among items auctioned Tuesday night, just hours after the judge approved the sale order.
Other property — including 16 watches, three Vespa scooters and a Ducati motor bike — will be auctioned May 11 by Vogt Auction Galleries in San Antonio. Online bidding has already started.
The 16 watches collectively retailed new for about $350,000, but they are expected to bring about half that amount at auction, said Gabe Echeverry, director of luxury estates at Vogt.
“This is really one of the largest collections of contemporary Swiss watches that has come to market, definitely in this fashion,” Echeverry said. “They’re amazingly complete, with all of their receipts. It’s just very impressive to see them hitting the market all at once.
“I’ve been doing this for 14 years now and I’ve never seen from one person these kind of watches,” he added.
Perhaps the most valuable in the collection is a platinum Rolex Day-Date II, which he said sells for about $65,000 new.
In November, U.S. marshals descended on Alfaro’s Shavano Park estate and seized assets to collect on a 2017 court judgment won by nine investors.
The investors had sued Alfaro and his companies alleging he operated a Ponzi scheme and used their money to support a lavish lifestyle that included multiple homes and luxury automobiles. His lawyers didn’t present a defense against the investors claims during a six-day trial.
The investors’ lawsuit led to Alfaro’s indictment in November on eight counts of mail fraud for allegedly misusing investor money. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for Aug. 26.
Though Alfaro is appealing the bankruptcy court judgment, he agreed to give up any claims to the property now being auctioned. He had no comment on the sale order when reached by email Wednesday.
Alfaro, in a November court filing, said the seized property included roughly 250 pieces of jewelry; 106 pairs of shoes; more than 50 pieces of dishware; nearly 50 suits, sport coats and pants; and 22 pairs of sunglasses.
A court exhibit listing the personal property approved for sale shows two 2014 Spurs championship rings. Echeverry said they are not valuable, though. Alfaro said one of the rings was a replica given away to fans.
Some of the more run-of-the-mill assets already have been sold, Echeverry said.
“The Alfaros had a very interesting mix of very, very high-end and then very, very low-end (property). There really was no in-between,” he said.
“They didn’t have art, they didn’t have fine clothes, they didn’t have anything like that,” he added. “It was cars and jewelry, just to the extreme on that.”
Receiver Scott Rose also took possession of other personal property owned by Alfaro’s wife.
Rose, though, has agreed not to sell that property while the judgment is being appealed, according to the order signed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Craig Gargotta. That property is comprised of women’s watches and jewelry.
The agreed order also covers real estate owned by the Alfaros or related entities, including a Port Aransas home that Alfaro has valued at $985,000. Rose will not foreclose or sell the real estate until the judgment becomes final, the order says.
“The receiver is proceeding forward with his obligations under his appointment,” said Stephen Calhoun, a lawyer for Rose. Calhoun had no other comment.
Gargotta’s order shows that more than 200 items were seized but later determined to be exempt from seizure, including children’s bicycles, beds and other furniture.
Alfaro had argued in a court filing that the U.S marshals’ seizure went beyond the scope of the writ of execution because it included property belonging to his wife and children.
Patrick Danner is a San Antonio-based staff writer covering banking and civil courts. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @AlamoPD