The US Department of Justice is refusing to pay $750,000 after an FBI officer crashed a Ferrari F50 belonging to an insurance company.

According to the Associated Press, the F50 supercar was stolen from a Ferrari dealership in Pennsylvania in 2003. Motors Insurance took title of the car after paying the dealer to cover the theft. When it was recovered in 2008, the insurer left the Ferrari in the possession of the Department of Justice, as it was still subject to investigation.

It was held by the FBI in Kentucky until May 2009, when FBI agent Fred Kingston moved it from a garage with Assistant US Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson in the passenger seat.

An internal email from Mr Thompson on the day of the accident is the only information released so far, and it explains how the accident occurred.

“Just a few seconds after we left the parking lot, we went around a curve and the rear of the car began sliding,” Mr Thompson wrote.“The agent tried to regain control but the car fishtailed and slid sideways up onto the kerb. The vehicle came to rest against a row of bushes and a small tree.”

The Department of Justice has so far refused to pay for the wrecked Ferrari – one of just 50 sold in the US – claiming that it is not liable for goods when they are damaged in the hands of law enforcement agencies.

Far from satisfied, Motors Insurance has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, seeking more information about the crash, and potentially compensation for the destroyed supercar.

A hearing has been set for June 13.