The US government is now involved.
This all got started back in 2003 when this 1996 Ferrari F50, the ancestor to the LaFerrari, was stolen from a parking garage at a luxurious Italian hotel. Purchased by a father and his two sons for about $309,500, the theft was not covered by insurance and they never saw the rare supercar again. That is until it reappeared in late 2019 at the US-Canadian border as it was being shipped to its new owner in Florida.
CNN reports the US government is going to court to determine who really owns the F50, now valued at nearly $2 million. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents inspecting the F50 noticed something that looked suspicious: the rivets holding the VIN plate were covered "with a black, tar-like substance that was not consistent with factory standards."
A hold was immediately placed on the car while the CPB reached out to Ferrari and the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Their suspicions were soon confirmed.
Paolo Provenzi bought the F50 with his father and brother and have no idea how it ended up in Canada. Its new owner, Mohammed Alsaloussi, who finalized the $1.435 million purchased in March 2019, also claims to know nothing about the situation. Although both men don't appear to be involved with the theft, they're each claiming rightful ownership. Lawyers are involved and the US Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York filed a civil action last week seeking to determine the car's ownership.
"When this is over, there's going to be a movie made about this," Provenzi's attorney said. "This car has been going around the world, apparently. It was in Japan for a while."
Meanwhile, Alsaloussi's attorney is arguing his client is the true owner. "Our client holds government-issued title and registration to the vehicle, and paid fair market value to a reputable seller," said the attorney, Richard O'Neil. "Only recently have we discovered the existence of the other claimant. We have many questions about the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged 2003 sale and theft. If the other claimant makes an appearance in this case, we intend to make a very thorough inquiry into the facts and circumstances surrounding his claim."
The US Attorney's Office says it has "great doubt" about which guy should get the car, hence the decision to have a court sort this out.