Third Madoff Auction Nets $500,000
The third auction of Bernie and Ruth Madoff's personal items brought in a hefty half a million dollars that will distributed to victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
In a statement, Neil DeSousa, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Florida, said, "The proceeds of the Madoff auction will go towards compensating the many victims of this crime of historical proportions."
Last Saturday, the U.S. Marshals auctioned off 275 lots, most of which were taken from the Madoff's former home in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The home, along with two others the Madoffs owned in Montauk, N.Y., and New York City, were sold by law enforcement officials after Madoff confessed to operating a $65 billion dollar Ponzi scheme for more than a decade.
He is currently serving a 150-year sentence in Butner, North Carolina.
Like the two prior auctions of items taken from the Madoff's homes in New York, the auction in Florida contained goods as mundane as fishing lures and as eye-catching as a man's Rolex watch valued at $30,000.
Still, the third auction was the smallest among the three and raised the least amount of money.
An earlier auction of items taken from Madoff's Montauk home netted $1 million, and goods from his New York City apartment netted $2 million for victims.
"It looks like this is the end of the road," said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Roland Ubaldo when asked if other Madoff auctions were in the works.
For the last two years, the Marshals have recovered $24 million through sales of Madoffs homes, cars, boats, jewelry and other personal items, along with $80 million of cash assets.
All of this money goes to the thousands of victims that lost billions investing with Madoff.
All of the lots sold in last Saturday's auction, with Ubaldo noting anything with the Madoff's name on it sold at above market value, reflecting their worth as collectibles.
One lot of tote bags monogrammed with "Bernard L. Madoff, Investment Securities" sold for $325.
Among the other notable sales, a Rolex watch fetched $31,000 and an oil painting by Alex Katz sold for $137,000, or $37,000 more than what it was valued at by the auctioneers Gaston and Sheehan.
Another pricey item from the auction, an oil painting by John Wooten, fetched a mere $65,000, well below its appraised value of $120,000.
As for the fishing lures, they sold for $300.