FBI seizes John Lennon fingerprint card from New York auction

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The FBI has seized a set of John Lennon’s fingerprints due to be auctioned by a New York memorabilia dealer for at least $100,000 (£62,621).

The fingerprint card was set to be part of an auction of 850 pieces of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia to mark the 70th anniversary of Lennon’s birth.

The fingerprints are thought to have been taken at a New York police station in 1976 when Lennon applied for permanent residency in the United States.

The owner of the card is a music and trade show promoter who acquired it at a music convention about 20 years ago.

The document is in the name of ‘John Winston Ono Lennon’. It shows his address as the Dakota apartment building on West 72nd Street in New York, in front of which he was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.

Lennon’s former immigration lawyer Leon Wildes told the New York Times that some of Lennon’s paperwork had been stolen from him in 1976, including a fingerprint form.

Peter Siegel, co-owner of Gotta Have It! in New York City, said he had to turn the card over to the FBI after FBI officials asked to inspect it and then issued a subpoena demanding the document. The FBI says the fingerprint card is US government property and is now investigating how it ended up in private hands.

A similar fingerprint card was sold by Sotheby’s auction house for $4,125 in 1991. However, that item was not regarded as an official document because it was an extra copy specially made by Lennon and autographed for a policeman.

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