October 19, 2007 / 7:48 AM / 10 years ago

FBI raids magician David Copperfield in Vegas

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - FBI agents have raided a Las Vegas warehouse owned by magician David Copperfield -- for reasons they did not disclose -- and media reports said that they seized nearly $2 million and computer equipment.

The FBI on Friday declined to say why it raided the Las Vegas warehouse, confirming only that it related to an investigation out of Seattle.

“We’re just confirming that investigative activity took place at the warehouse,” David Staretz, chief division counsel, for the FBI in Las Vegas, told Reuters. He declined to give further details.

The warehouse is where Copperfield keeps his props and maintains an office.

Media reports said FBI agents seized nearly $2 million in cash from the building, along with a computer hard drive and a memory chip from a digital camera system during Wednesday’s late-night operation.

“We understand there is an investigation, are in touch with the investigators, and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation,” Copperfield’s attorney David Chesnoff said in a statement cited by Las Vegas broadcasters.

Chesnoff and Copperfield’s publicist could not be reached for further comment.

The local CBS affiliate KLAS-TV quoted a source as saying the cash was stashed in a safe and that agents took the cash.

Copperfield, 51, whose real name is David Kotkin, is famed for stunts such as making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China. He is a regular performer at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas.

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