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Madoff wines sell out

Morrell & Company sold all 58 lots from Bernard L Madoff's wine and spirits holdings for US$41,530 on Wednesday.

The consignment had been estimated at US$15,000-21,000. The majority of the lots sold above their high estimates.

‘The proceeds from this auction are going towards compensating Madoff’s victims, so we couldn’t be happier with the results,’ said auction director Kimberly Janis. The buyers pay an 18% premium, which Morrell keeps.

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

Since the victims of Madoff’s scheme were defrauded of tens of billions of investment dollars, distributed payoffs from the auction will amount to a pittance.

The top price paid was $6,800, for a case of 1996 Mouton Rothschild, estimated at $3,200-3,800. The second-highest, $2,200, was for six bottles of 1990 Lynch-Bages ($1,200-1,600).

Six bottles of 1997 Antinori Tignanello ($850-1,200) brought $1,500. One bin-soiled bottle of 1969 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon ($70-100) found $280.

As a possible explanation for bidders’ strong interest in a collection that came from such an infamous source, Janis told The New York Times, ‘I think people are trying to get a little piece of history or memorabilia.’

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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