Duck decoys, Rolex among Madoff goods for sale
NEW YORK — They're the spoils of a feast that's over forever: Bernard Madoff's stuff on a government auction block.
Almost 200 items seized from the fallen financier's homes will be sold today in Manhattan, ranging from dishes and stationery to decoy ducks and a Rolex dubbed the "prisoner watch."
There's even a partly used pad of adhesive notes, personalized with "Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities" — a reminder that Madoff's twisted financial activities were interrupted in action.
The 71-year-old is now an inmate in a North Carolina prison, serving a 150-year sentence for defrauding investors for decades.
The goods to be auctioned were shown yesterday at a preview at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.
Madoff's personal effects were guarded by the U.S. marshals who seized his properties — a penthouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side and houses in Montauk, N.Y., and Palm Beach, Fla.
When he was sentenced in June, the punishment included the forfeiture of almost all of his wealth.
Scanning the items, auction observer Lark Mason said despite Madoff's riches, he owned things "that you'd find at a fancy suburban garage sale" — though with a higher price tag.
Mason, who worked for Sotheby's, said the artworks collected by Madoff and his wife, Ruth, were mostly reproductions and posters.
The Madoffs "were people without discernment, buying things for their superficial appeal but no real value — except for the gold and diamonds," said Mason, adding, "But that's so obvious. Just greed."
Texas-based auctioneer Gaston & Sheehan is running the sale for the Marshals Service, hoping to get at least a half-million dollars to be divided among Madoff's victims.