Jessica M. Karmasek Apr. 29, 2013, 6:00pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Legal Newsline) -- A district court judge has sided with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson in a lawsuit filed against an estate salesman.

In her lawsuit against Craig Birkeland, Swanson accused him of selling off antiques and other family heirlooms but never giving his customers their money.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last week that Hennepin County District Judge Philip Carruthers ordered Birkeland to pay $2 million in fines and restitution, and banned him from doing business in the state.

According to the newspaper, estate sales are growing in popularity. Mostly because more and more retirees are trying to downsize.

However, estates sales companies don't have to be licensed in Minnesota, unlike auctioneers.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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