While he languished in jail reading his Danielle Steele novels, a host of New Yorkers were probably toasting his downfall.
For the eclectic wine and spirits collection belonging to imprisoned Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff were auctioned off last night, fetching $41,530.
The auction is the latest lot of possessions sold belonging to the disgraced American financier in order to raise money for his many victims who he stole billions of dollars from.
His victims included charities, banks, Hollywood stars and moguls, and savvy financial players.
And they all handed him tens of billions of dollars over more than two decades.
MARK MADOFF WIDOW’S BOOK CONFIRMED
It has been confirmed that Bernard Madoff’s daughter-in-law, Stephanie Madoff, plans to write a book about her life and marriage to his son Mark, who hanged himself last December.
The book – which will be published around the anniversary of his death – will detail her relationship with Mark from the time her father-in-law’s Ponzi scheme began to collapse through the aftermath of Mark’s suicide on the second anniversary of Madoff’s arrest.
David Rosenthal, the president and publisher of Blue Rider Press said: ‘Stephanie’s story is heartbreaking, compelling and ultimately courageous.’
Mark, 46, hanged himself inside his Manhattan apartment. He had managed the brokerage at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, along with his brother Andrew.
The brothers had been sued by a court-appointed trustee who claimed they knew, or should have known, about the scam, considered the biggest financial fraud in history. They denied the allegations.
Friends say he was tormented by the thought of being locked up like his father.
All 59 lots, ranging from fine Bordeaux to the types of small bottles often found in hotel minibars, found buyers, with 54 selling above the highest estimated pre-auction price.
The winning bids exceeded the roughly $15,000 to $21,000 the auction run by Morrell & Co Fine Wine Auctions in New York had been expected to raise.
Auction director Kimberly Janis said: ‘Proceeds from this auction are going toward compensating Madoff’s victims, so we couldn’t be happier with the results.’
As expected, the top lot was a case of 1996 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, a Bordeaux, which went for $6,800. It had been expected to go for $3,200 to $3,800.
A case of Veuve Clicquot, yellow label brut, also fared well. It sold for $1,500, above its $240 to $350 pre-auction estimate and roughly triple what it might cost at retail.
Meanwhile, a lot of 2-ounce bottles of Bombay Dry Gin, Grand Marnier and Smirnoff Vodka commanded a $300 winning bid, well above the expected $10 to $20.
Before the auction, a statement from the company said: ‘As artefacts of history they are unique, which is why we have chosen to offer all of the bottles seized, including those which normally wouldn’t pass muster and make it into our auction.
‘Some of the bottles are better viewed as conversation pieces rather than valued for their contents, but conversation pieces they are.’
Madoff’s wines were seized by the U.S. Marshals Service, which often auctions seized property to benefit crime victims.