Madoff’s alcohol nets $41,530 for victims

By Katya Kazakina
Bloomberg News / May 19, 2011

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NEW YORK — Bernard L. Madoff’s wine and spirits collection fetched $41,530 in an Internet sale at Morrell & Co. Fine Wine Auctions yesterday.

Despite unknown storage conditions, all 59 lots in the Madoff group found buyers, with most exceeding their presale estimates. The total, which doesn’t include the buyers’ premium of 18 percent, almost tripled the presale forecast of $15,000.

It’s the latest sale of Madoff’s possessions seized by US Marshals to raise money for the victims of his $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

The top lot was a case of 1996 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild which fetched $6,800, more than doubling its low estimate of $3,200. A case of 1996 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild last month fetched about $8,200 at Sotheby’s in London.

A crystal decanter filled with a mysterious brown liquid soared past its estimate range of $60 to $90 to bring $950.

A case of Veuve Clicquot, yellow label brut, fetched $1,500, above the $240 to $350 target. That $125 bottle price is a 68 percent premium over the $40 charged at New York’s Chelsea Wine Vault.

Even a selection of minibar 2-ounce bottles of Smirnoff vodka, Bombay Gin, and Grand Marnier did well. Estimated at $10 to $20, the lot found a buyer at $300.

In earlier auctions, Madoff’s powerboats and a Mercedes-Benz fetched $1.1 million in 2009. Last year, souvenir hunters helped raise $2 million from the liquidation sale of Madoff’s bed and diamonds owned by his wife, Ruth.

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to his decades-long Ponzi scheme in 2009.

Photos: Selling Madoff

Photos: Selling Madoff

Homes, belongings of convicted swindler sold to recoup funds.