Reputed mobster’s jewels, valuables up for auction

FBI mugshot of Chicago Outfit mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (b. 1937), a k a 'Frankie Beeze,' taken on Dec. 6, 1990.

FBI mugshot of Chicago Outfit mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. (b. 1937), a k a ‘Frankie Beeze,’ taken on Dec. 6, 1990.

CHICAGO (AP) – Jewelry collectors who don’t mind if their gems have a rather shady past will soon get the chance to bid on a stash of valuables linked to reputed mobster Frank Calabrese Sr.

Agents found a hoard of jewelry in a secret compartment behind a family portrait in Calabrese’s suburban Chicago home during a raid two years ago.

Now, the Chicago Sun-Times reports an online auction July 10-24 will sell the items, including more than 250 loose diamonds, earrings, engagement rings, luxury watches and other jewelry.

“He’s got lots of diamonds,” said Bob Sheehan, owner of the Gaston & Sheehan, which will hold the online public auction July 10-24.

Calabrese is currently behind bars. He was one of several reputed mobsters convicted in 2009 in a racketeering conspiracy that included 18 decades-old murders. He was blamed for 13, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay more than $24 million. The auction proceeds will go toward that restitution.

During his trial, Calabrese bragged that he made millions on the street and was known among his family for stashing valuables. It isn’t clear where Calabrese got all of the jewelry. Defense attorney Joseph Lopez described Calabrese — who accepted items in lieu of cash while doing business as a loan shark — as “a collector.”

Next month’s auction is the second sale of items from Calabrese’s home. Last year, Gaston & Sheehan sold more than 100 rare $500 and $1,000 bills from Calabrese’s stash. According to court records, that sale brought in $245,860.

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