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FBI, Justice Department sued for crashing $750,000 Ferrari F50

by Mark Kleis

It's not every day the Federal Bureau of Investigation is sued, especially when the suit claims the bureau is withholding information that is impeding an investigation.

Back in May of 2009, a federal agent in the FBI was tasked with transporting a Ferrari that had been stolen six years prior and later used as evidence to convict the thief. The problems for the agency, however, began when the agent lost control of the Ferrari shortly after leaving the warehouse and wrecked it.

The Ferrari F50 in question had once belonged to a Ferrari dealer in Pennsylvania, but after being stolen n September 2003, the dealer was paid by Motors Insurance Corp. for the car, making the insurance company the new owner of the missing prancing horse sports car, according to The Detroit News.

Fast forward nearly five years to August 2008, and the FBI managed to find the missing Ferrari in Kentucky. The car was then stored during the subsequent investigation and it was eventually used to prosecute the criminal who had originally nabbed the car. When the time came for the FBI to move the car from the warehouse where it had been stored, the root of the new lawsuit was formed when an agent crashed the car into a tree.

After the F50 was wrecked, Motors Insurance sent the FBI and Justice Department a $750,000 bill for the car, which was rejected by the agency, which claimed the damage happened while the car was being detained by the FBI. The insurance company filed another claim, but was rejected once more in September 2010.

The plot thickens
After having its claim rejected, the insurance company then filed to receive information regarding the crash through the Freedom of Information Act, hoping to gain insight into the use and crash of the car. It's request was yet again denied, with the reason given being "federal exemptions."

Although the full information requested was never delivered, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson did send an e-mail on the original day of the crash to the insurance company which stated FBI Special Agent Frederick C. Kingston took the F50 for a "short ride" in which he lost control and "fishtailed and slid sideways" only seconds after leaving the warehouse.

The FBI and Justice Department are reviewing the lawsuit.

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