The U.S. Marshals Service has now been able to collect $25 million from assets seized from convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff with a Miami Beach auction netting about $500,000 over the weekend, including $1,350 for 25 pairs of Madoff’s favorite Belgian-brand loafers.
“I can tell you the assets went well over the fair market value … it's been a huge success,'' said Roland Ubaldo, supervisory deputy of the U.S. Marshal Service in New York, where the feds seized two homes and more than $1 million in Madoff jewelry, including his wife Ruth's diamond engagement ring.
In South Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service was able to confiscate and then sale in Saturday's auction the more casual furnishings of Madoff's Palm Beach vacation home, a waterfront mansion, Ubaldo said.
It was the last auction scheduled.
Many people bid up things items just because the Madoff name was imprinted on diplomas, golf bags and even stationery, the U.S. Marshals spokesman said. Madoff underwear went for $200; his prized bull ornaments fetched thousands of dollars. Just a tin sculpture of a bull went for $5,000; a bronze sclupture for $900.
"Whether you like it or not, it's history," Ubaldo said.
Madoff was convicted for creating the largest Ponzi scheme in the United States, involving about $65 billion. He is now serving 150 years in federal prison. Proceeds from all of the fed's Madoff auctions will benefit those who were cheated by his illegal dealings.
Some of Madoff's belongings at Saturday's auction might have fetched high prices because he had collected prize folk art at his Palm Beach home, including a Civil War era American flag that sold for $3,900 Saturday.
One of the highest items was an Alex Katz 1997 "Marine” painting that was bid up to $137,000.
However, a few of Madoff¿s possessions went for below appraisal, such as an 18th Century equestrian painting by British artist John Wootton. It was believed to be worth at least $140,000 but actually sold for $65,000.
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