Auction of Madoff goods draws $400,000

June 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla., June 5 (UPI) -- Speculators and curiosity seekers shelled out more than $400,000 for Bernard Madoff's effects, from artworks to underwear, at a Miami Beach, Fla., auction.

Some 150 buyers turned out for Saturday's auction by the U.S. Marshals Service, with 6,000 more bidding online, The Miami Herald reported. Most of the proceeds will go to a restitution fund for the arch-swindler's victims.

Madoff is serving a 150-year term for his $50 billion Ponzi scam.

"It went about as expected," said auctioneer Bob Sheehan. "When we sold the stuff from his house in New York, it brought in millions, but that included boats and cars and jewelry. This one was mostly household goods."

Madoff's honorary diploma from Yeshiva University in New York went for $675. A pair of chairs appraised at $1,200 for $5,000. A landscape painting for $137,000.

One broker was bidding for a European artist who is snapping up Madoff possessions for an installation at the Art Basel exhibition. Another bought $1,550 worth of books for a French artist working on a Madoff project.

Giulia Ozyesilpinar, who bought a a 1952 Rolex watch for $31,000, said: "I'm not sure if Madoff is guilty, or if he was God-sent to punish greedy people."

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