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FBI raids illusionist Copperfield’s warehouse

FBI agents have seized nearly $2 million in cash and a computer from a Las Vegas warehouse owned by illusionist David Copperfield, local media reports said on Thursday.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

FBI agents have seized nearly $2 million in cash from a Las Vegas warehouse owned by illusionist David Copperfield, local media reports said on Thursday.

The agents also took a computer hard drive and a memory chip from a digital camera system during Wednesday's late-night operation.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday that the investigation stems from allegations of possible sexual misconduct by the illusionist. A source told the newspaper that the alleged misconduct occurred outside the U.S. but was being investigated by the FBI because the accuser is a U.S. citizen.

KLAS-TV reported that an FBI raid with 12 agents took place Wednesday at Copperfield’s warehouse. KLAS quoted a source as saying the cash was stashed in a safe and that agents took the cash.

“I can say that there was investigative activity yesterday and yesterday evening in Las Vegas,” Seattle FBI Agent Robbie Burroughs said Thursday, without specifying where the activity took place or who was involved.

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“The investigation is related to a Seattle case. The Seattle case is pending and that means we can’t say anything about it,” Burroughs said.

"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.

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 has been a longtime performer at the Hollywood Theater at the MGM Grand casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, where he has performed in six- to eight-week stints several times a year, said MGM Mirage Inc. spokeswoman Yvette Monet.

Monet said Copperfield performed two shows Wednesday night, which were at the end of his most recent run. Monet said Copperfield was next scheduled to perform in Jakarta, Indonesia.