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Bernard Madoff wine collection to be auctioned

Morrell & Company will auction 58 lots of wines and spirits owned by the convicted fraudster Bernard L Madoff on 18 May.

The collection is estimated at $15,000 and Morrell’s catalogue says the wines ‘were seized by the U.S. Marshals Service for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York in the case of the United States v. Bernard Madoff.’

It adds that ‘the proceeds from the auction will be deposited in the United States Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund to compensate the victims’ of Madoff’s ‘multi-billion dollar fraud.’

The catalogue entries depict a major interest in collectible Bordeaux, as befits a man who lived a mogul’s life style.

Among the blue-ribbon lots are a case of 1996 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild ($3,200-3,800); six bottle of 1990 Chateau Beychevelle ($350-480); one bottle of 1964 Chateau Cheval Blanc ($500-750); and six bottles of 1997 Antinori Tignanello ($850-1,200).

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for running a Ponzi scheme that was the biggest fraud in Wall Street history.

He pleaded guilty to 11 counts of felony, among them securities fraud, money laundering and perjury through his company Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

In discussing the sale, Morrell’s website said that the lots were seized from two Madoff properties.

It went on: ‘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.’

Written by Howard G. Goldberg in New York

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