PARIS (AP) — Thousands of French investors are hoping to recover some of the money they lost in an alleged pyramid scheme when a collection of rare manuscripts goes up for auction starting next month.
The 130,000-piece collection is estimated to be worth a sum that could run eight or nine figures. It includes the original manuscript for "The 120 Days of Sodom," a scandalous novel by the Marquis de Sade, and a hand-written testimony by an American survivor of the Titanic.
A court seized the so-called Aristophil collection and ordered it to be sold off, a process expected to take years. Top lots for the first auction were displayed Tuesday.
Investigators suspect the items were acquired through a pyramid scheme in which works allegedly purchased by clients were resold to new investors.