Mad­off’s loot goes un­der the ham­mer

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - AUCTIONS -

THE trap­pings of Ber nard Mad­off's once-lux­u­ri­ous life­style – jew­els, furs and ex­pen­sive trin­kets – were auc­tioned re­cently in New York to ben­e­fit the many vic­tims of the Wall Street swindler.

The cat­a­logue con­tained al­most 200 lots re­flect­ing the gaudy life en­joyed by con­man Mad­off and his wife, Ruth, and paid for through his multi­bil- lion-dol­lar Ponzi scheme that en­dured for decades.

For sale were no fewer than 17 Rolex watches, di­a­monds, fur coats, Her­mes and Louis Vuit­ton hand­bags, crocodile­skin belts, golf clubs, and nu­mer­ous pieces of jew­ellery.

On a more per­sonal note was a blue satin Mets base­ball team jacket em­bla­zoned with “Mad­off ” on the back. The Mad­off name also ap­peared on many other items, such as beach boards and sta­tionery.

Gas­ton and Shee­han auc­tion­eers han­dled the sale at a Sher­a­ton ho­tel in New York. The goods had been seized by Amer­i­can mar­shals to raise funds to com­pen­sate hun­dreds of in­vestors cheated by Mad­off. A Man­hat­tan pent­house, Palm Beach re­treat and other proper- ties were also seized. A Long Is­land beach get­away sold for $8 mil­lion (R60m).

Madof f, now serv­ing a 150-year prison term for fraud, claimed be­fore his ar­rest last De­cem­ber to have been manag­ing $65m. But much of that seems to have com­prised phony funds. The court-ap­pointed liq­uida­tor said in­vestors had lost $21.2 bil­lion. – Sapa-AFP

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