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The Madoff Name Premium

This article was written by in Wealth and Affluence. 3 comments.


On Saturday, an auction in New York featured items once owned by Bernard Madoff. The auction raised over $900,000, beating expectations. Once combined with proceeds from another auction later this week, it’s likely that this money will go to investors who were burned by Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Here are some of the items that received winning bids this weekend:

  • Two pairs of Ruth Madoff’s diamond earrings: $140,000
  • Bernie’s Mets jacket: $14,500
  • Three duck decoys: $11,500
  • Madoff branded boogie boards: $1,000
  • A life preserver: $7,500

Serving 150 years in prison could likely be, from an asset value standpoint, one of the best things to happen to Madoff. Of course, he won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of his celebrity status. The benefits of this auction and Tuesday’s auction of larger assets such as Madoff’s boats will go to his victims. One of these victims is allegedly Zsa Zsa Gabor. She owes $120,000 to the IRS and claims her inability to pay is due to Bernard Madoff who took $7 million of her money through the Ponzi scheme.

Zsa Zsa will assemble the money with the help of her ninth husband and will do what many people do when they owe the IRS money: They will set up a payment plan on pay the debt over time.

Watch eBay and other auction houses; perhaps some of these items will continue to fetch higher prices due to their association with the most popular investment scammer in recent history.

Madoff’s Mets jacket sells for … $14,500, Les Christie, CNN Money, November 15, 2009
Zsa Zsa Gabor says she was victim of Bernie Madoff, Jessica Hudson, Examiner.com, November 15, 2009

Consumerism Commentary was included as an Editor’s Choice in the 229th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance earlier this month with Seven Zen Principles to Guide Your Money and Your Life.

Published or updated November 16, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

avatar Nicole @ RainyDaySaver

I read about the story yesterday — some items fetched more than they originally thought. I’m sure it’s all because of the “Madoff” name. But what happens when no one remembers the name in a few decades?

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