The "Bernie Madoff Auction" draws about four dozen to Concord Hilton Sunday
The auction of items advertised as associated--somehow--with convicted swindler Bernie Madoff went off as scheduled at the Concord Hilton Sunday.
San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tom Abate attended, and writes that auctioneer, Gary Getz of East Coast Auctions based in Georgia, displayed "six watches, a gold Buglari bracelet and necklace, and a mink coat that he said were once owned by Bernard Madoff," who is serving a 150-year prison sentence for perpetrating what many say was one of Wall Street’s most brazen investment scams.
No one bought any of those items, Abate reports. He adds to what I reported on Saturday, that these Bernie Madoff auctions have been taking place all over the country, with auctioneers claiming that the items come from either Madoff himself or from some of his victims.
A sticker advertising this auction appeared on the front page of Saturday's print edition of the Contra Costa Times. In fine print, though, the sticker said that the items up for sale did not come from the Madoff estate but came from his victims, and were being sold to "recoup their losses."
The U.S. Marshals Service is looking into the legitmacy of these auctions, as are other law enforcement agencies. The Marshals Service already held its own auction in November to sell off jewelry, furs, and other items seized from Madoff and his wife. Money earned from that auction was to help compensate Madoff's victims.
Abate observed some people winning bids for items, but none that appeared to have any connection to Madoff, or, possibly--it's not clear--to any Madoff' victims. A Martinez woman bought a silk rug with a bid of $2,350. A Lafayette woman, meanwhile, spent $13,000 on an original oil painting by Austrian-born painter Itzchak Tarkay who survived internment in a Nazi concentration camp.