Yacht seized by US Marshals up for auction at Lake Tahoe

Staff Report
The Sierra Rose will be auctioned off online starting May 31.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The United State Marshals Service is auctioning off the Sierra Rose, an 85-foot yacht docked at South Lake Tahoe, that it previously seized.

Apple Auctioneering Co. will be conducting an online-only auction on behalf of the US Marshals Service starting Tuesday, May 31, and lasting through 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.

The yacht served as the location for a 2017 opening episode of the television sitcom “Modern Family.”

It was docked at Camp Richardson Historic Resort & Marina at the time. The episode was the opener in the show’s ninth season, entitled “Lake Life,” which aired Sept. 27, 2017.

Three years later the vessel was taken into custody as a result of a default in a federal civil lawsuit against the owners in connection with a $350,000 debt. In Cap One, Inc. v. MV Sierra Rose, the now former owners owe $848,062 as of June 1, 2021, and legal fees.

According to court documents, the yacht was originally constructed in 2005 for around $4 million. At the time it was billed as the largest noncommercial yacht on Lake Tahoe.

In what might be a great plot for the sitcom, guests were awakened at 3 a.m. July 9, 2012, as the yacht took on water while tied up at a Tahoe Keys dock. It eventually hit the bottom with its lowest deck underwater and water in the sleeping compartments.

It was sold at auction for $3.25 million in August 2008, according to a previous Tribune story.

A $10,000 pre-bid deposit is required to bid, which would be applied to the purchase price. All pre-bid deposits for unsuccessful bidders will be refunded within five to seven business days. If full payment is not received by the high bidder by 9 p.m. Friday, June 17, the $10,000 deposit becomes non-refundable at which point the property shall revert back to the government without further notice.

The Sierra Rose is a 2005 Fred Finney triple cabin 85-foot motor yacht docked in the Tahoe Keys and will be offered as is without warranty or guarantee. In 2012, the lowest level of the yacht was completely underwater, while the second level of the vessel was partially submerged. Inspections are by appointment only.

Apple Auctioneering Co. specializes in the liquidation of seized assets for government agencies and services 75 district for the Marshals Service, all 50 state for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and our nation’s Southern border for U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the company said on its website.

The company has 13,000 federally seized vehicles in custody.

For more information, visit

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