For sale: Madoff's intimate treasures

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

So arch-fraudster Bernard Madoff had a copy of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. The notorious perpetrator of history's largest pyramid scheme had Al Franken's book on his shelf when the FBI finally closed in. He had numerous other appropriate volumes, with titles such as Chutzpah, In the Shadow of the Law, and End in Tears.

The reading collection is going under the hammer along with pretty much everything else that Madoff and his wife, Ruth, owned, as part of the US authorities' efforts to wring every possible cent of compensation for the schemer's devastated victims.

And it really is every last thing, right down to the contents of the couple's underwear drawers, with Mrs Madoff's tights and Bernie's boxer shorts among the 486 lots.

An auctioneer was waving Madoff's monogrammed underpants around at a special preview of Saturday's auction, in a final humiliation for a man who was once a power-broker on Wall Street.

His 14,000 investors had been told for decades that their money was safe and growing, but it was neither of those things. His claim to have $65bn in their accounts was a fiction, since he had merely been using new investors' money to pay old investors who cashed out.

Just $1.5bn has been recovered for victims to share. The forthcoming auction is forecast to raise just $1.5m more.

A Steinway piano and Madoff's prized collection of Rolex watches are the most expensive items up for sale, along with his wife's jewellery.One 10.5-carat diamond ring is estimated at $300,000 to $350,000.

Smaller, homelier trinkets have been grouped together, with common kitchen utensils thrown together with a personalised coffee mug given to Ruth Madoff for Mother's Day.

"He loved shoes and spent a lot of money on 250 pairs, some never worn," said auctioneer Bob Sheehan, who will conduct the sale. The footwear includes a pair of monogrammed slippers.

And among the lots are more designer jackets and monogrammed polo shirts than any couple could reasonably need, the remains of an ostentatious lifestyle funded by fraud.

The sale will be the last in New York of his belongings. A third and final auction is to be held in Florida to sell off items from a Palm Beach home that sold for more than $5.5m. His Manhattan penthouse was sold for $8m.

Madoff's world collapsed him when he was arrested in December 2008. The former financier, now aged 72, admitted the fraud charges, and is serving 150 years in prison.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn