Madoff’s loot goes under the hammer
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