Federal prosecutors on Wednesday beat back a bid by creditors of a bankrupt telecommunications giant to claim five Andy Warhol artworks for themselves that had been forfeited when disbarred attorney Marc S. Dreier pleaded guilty to selling $400 million in bogus notes to hedge funds. A lawyer representing the interests of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of 360 Networks (USA) claimed a superior interest in the artworks because Dreier’s now-defunct firm, Dreier LLP, which represented 360 in its Chapter 11 reorganization, held $38.5 million of the company’s money in escrow when the firm disintegrated after Dreier’s arrest in December 2008.

The paintings and a sculpture by Robert Indiana, for which Dreier collectively paid $9.2 million, according to Bloomberg News, had been forfeited as a part of Dreier’s guilty plea.

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