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Want a piece of Madoff?

How much would you bid?

How much would you bid?

When Bernie Madoff was arrested, it was revealed he had been running the largest pyramid scheme, i.e. scam, in US history. His and netted Madoff an approximate US$65 billion. Unsurprisingly, some people want their money back, so an auction of some of his luxury items has begun in the US, with US$2 million already raised.

Among the luxury items put under the hammer include, f our luxury boats, a personalised New York Mets jacket, expensive clothing and jewellery belonging to him and his wife Ruth. Such a collection of bespoke items caused a feeding frenzy at auction houses with over 2,000 dealers and collectors placing bids online.Auctions were held in the ballroom of the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, with the Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers handling the sales. The most popular items were jewellery with local dealers buying dozens of watches. The top prize was a pair of pre-Victorian 14-carat diamond earrings owned by Ruth Madoff. They went for an astonishing US$70,000. Other jewellery sold amounted to $900,000.

More than expected : Despite some items being bought at bargain prices - three of the four boats went for just over US$1 million, with another owned by Madoff's former chief financial officer, , raising nearly the same amount of cash on its own - sales were said to far exceed all expectations.

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How much would you bid?

Acting US Marshal Neil DeSousa said, "(The sales) equates to more money that will go back to the victims involved in the Madoff case."

One of the items that was sold for more than expected was Madoff's Mets jacket, which went for US$14,000 - 20 times more than its estimated value.

Many of those that bid said they were motivated by the fact the proceeds would be given to Madoff's victims. One bidder, Kim Hannah, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Mercedes convertible, that ended up going for US$30,000, said, "It was a chance to give back and also get a good car."

Madoff is currently serving a 150 year sentence. Details of his prison life were made public last month when it was revealed he shares his cell with a 21-year-old convicted drug offender, and "eats pizza cooked by an inmate convicted of child molestation."

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