"We understand there is an investigation," his Las Vegas attorney says

By Ken Lee and Mark Gray
Updated October 18, 2007 08:30 PM
Credit: Frank Rumpenhorst/EPA

Magician David Copperfield has been linked to an FBI investigation, authorities confirmed Thursday.

A Las Vegas warehouse operated by Copperfield was raided by 12 agents Wednesday night, TV station KLAS reports. A computer hard drive, digital camera system, and nearly $2 million in cash were seized, the station reports.

“The only thing we’re confirming right now is that there was some investigative activity in the Las Vegas area yesterday connected with a Seattle-area case, both of which are pending,” said Robbie Burroughs, spokeswoman for the Seattle division of the FBI.

Copperfield’s attorney, David Chesnoff, says in a statement: “We understand there is an investigation, (we) are in touch with the investigators, and are respecting the confidentiality of the investigation.”

Copperfield, easily one of the most well-known magicians, performs monthly in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. He just finished a two-week engagement at the hotel last week, and is scheduled to return Nov. 15-28.

His warehouse, located in an industrial section of the city, is rarely seen by anybody other than magic scholars, according to Forbes magazine, which got a rare glimpse last year.

The magazine said the two-story building, which Copperfield calls the International Museum & Library of the Conjuring Arts, contains “an Ali Baba’s trove of sports cars, vintage automatons, gargoyle heads, gadgetry and an electric chair,” as well as 80,000 books, illusions, posters and memorabilia.

Copperfield is among the richest entertainers in the world. According to Forbes, Copperfield earned $57 million in 2003, ranking him that year as the 10th-highest paid globally.

Copperfield was once engaged to the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, but the couple split in 1999 after six years together.