Ponzi scheme mastermind’s jewellery collection on auction till 19 February
Ponzi scheme mastermind’s jewellery collection
77-years old Bernard (Bernie) Madoff ‘s luxurious possessions —the Ponzi scheme mastermind, now serving a 150-year prison sentence for duping investors of million — have been put up for auction till February 19. (Pictured here: A platinum and 14K yellow gold necklace set with a square cut emerald, and 18K gold gents Patek Philippe watch. Source: Reuters)
If Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme proved one adage correct, it might be this — all that glitters is not gold. His jewellery, however, is another matter.
On 2 February, The US Marshals began auctioning off several high-priced pieces of jewellery seized from Madoff and his wife, Ruth — including a diamond tennis bracelet, a gold money clip and two Patek Philippe watches.
The proceeds from the auction — which ends on 19 February, 2016 — will be added to a restitution fund for Madoff’s victims.
Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to masterminding a decades-long fraud at his firm that cost investors an estimated $17 billion in lost principal. The scheme — in which Madoff used money from some investors to pay profits to others — went undetected for decades.
The minimum opening bids for the watches and the bracelet were $21,250, while the money clip — made by Tiffany & Co — started at a relatively affordable $380. The auction is being handled by Texas-based Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers and is available online at http://www.txauction.com.
U.S. authorities have sold numerous items seized from Madoff and members of his family in the past. In 2011, 14 pairs of Madoff’s boxer shorts sold for $200. Auctions in 2009 and 2010 netted millions of dollars in total for items such as a 10.5 carat diamond ring, Madoff’s New York Mets jacket and his boats.
Madoff, 77, is serving a 150-year prison sentence. 14 others — including Madoff’s brother Peter and several employees of the firm — have been convicted either at trial or via guilty plea in connection with the scheme.