Copperfield's millions not taken, FBI says
The FBI is denying reports that it took millions in cash during a search last week of a Las Vegas warehouse belonging to illusionist David...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The FBI is denying reports that it took millions in cash during a search last week of a Las Vegas warehouse belonging to illusionist David Copperfield.
A Las Vegas television station reported that agents seized $2 million in cash from a safe in Copperfield's warehouse. That report was picked up by other media nationally, including The Seattle Times.
Federal law-enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said that Copperfield, 51, is under investigation of possible sexual misconduct with a Seattle woman while in the Bahamas.
Officially, the FBI has been tight-lipped about the investigation and has not said Copperfield is the target, although high-ranking officials have confirmed that fact anonymously.
National entertainment media and others have repeated the story about the seizure of money, and FBI officials are now concerned the publicity could damage their investigation and is unfair to Copperfield, who has not been charged with a crime.
"No currency was seized during our investigating activity in Las Vegas," said Seattle FBI Special Agent Robbie Burroughs. "Media reports to the contrary are false."
Burroughs said the bureau "will not discuss the case further."
Federal law-enforcement sources said it could be weeks, or even months, before they conclude their investigation.
A law-enforcement source has said it involves a Seattle woman who said she was assaulted by Copperfield while in the Bahamas. The source declined to be named or provide other details because of the sensitive nature of the investigation. The source said the issue was whether or not the woman consented to sex.
David Chesnoff, attorney for David Copperfield, on Saturday said it was "important these allegations be put into perspective."
"An unidentified woman has made serious allegations against David Copperfield," Chesnoff said. "Although authorities have not revealed her identity to us, we know these allegations are false because David Copperfield has never forced himself on anyone."
Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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