Madoff jewels, clothes set for New York auction


NEW YORK, Nov 10, 2009 (AFP) -The trappings of Bernard Madoff's once luxurious lifestyle -- jewels, furs and expensive trinkets -- will be auctioned Saturday 14 November in New York to benefit victims of the Wall Street swindler.

The catalogue contains almost 200 lots reflecting the gaudy life enjoyed by Madoff and his wife Ruth as a result of his decades-long, multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

That includes no less than 17 Rolex watches, diamonds, fur coats, Hermes and Louis Vuitton handbags, crocodile-skin belts, golf clubs and numerous items of jewelry.

On a more personal note, there will be a blue satin Mets baseball team jacket emblazoned with "Madoff" on the back. Estimated price: 500 to 720 dollars.

The Madoff name appears on many other goods, ranging from beach boards to personal stationary.

Gaston and Sheehan auctioneers are handling the sale at a Sheraton hotel in New York, but the goods were seized by the US Marshals Service to raise compensation for hundreds of investors cheated by Madoff.

Pre-auction estimates by Gaston and Sheehan predict sales of about 500,000 dollars.

Properties, including a Manhattan penthouse and Palm Beach retreat, have also been seized. A Long Island beach getaway sold for eight million dollars.

Madoff, now serving a 150-year prison sentence for fraud, claimed just before his arrest last December to have been managing 65 million dollars. However, much of that appears to have comprised phony funds.

The court-appointed liquidator says that investors lost 21.2 billion dollars cash.

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