Fraudster Bernard Madoff's belongings sold at auction

Published
Media caption,
Some of Bernard Madoff's possessions from his New York city penthouse

The possessions of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff and his wife Ruth have been sold at auction in New York.

Historic mementos for the curious ranged from socks and napkins to luxury watches and oil paintings.

Ruth Madoff's 10.5-carat diamond engagement ring fetched the highest price, at $550,000 (£340,000).

Proceeds of the auction, over $2m (£1.25m), will go to more than 3,000 clients who lost money through Madoff's pyramid scheme.

When the fraudster was arrested two years ago, US marshals seized everything he owned - including his worn socks and monogrammed boxer shorts. All of it is being sold.

The auction started in the morning in the packed ballroom of a New York hotel.

Image caption,
Bernard Madoff is reported to have owned about 250 pairs of shoes

Amateur pianist John Rodger was among the winning bidders.

He paid six times the minimum estimate for a 1917 Steinway grand piano, forking out $42,000 (£26,000).

"I've got loads of pianos, but this one has history," he said. "It'll make an interesting conversation piece."

But the only bed which the Madoffs had in their New York apartment - a 19th Century bed with fabric hangings - sold for only a quarter of its pre-auction estimate.

Among the cheaper lots being sold by the US Marshals Service were monogrammed slippers, hundreds of pairs of shoes, and a collection of pre-euro banknotes from European countries.

Madoff, 72, is serving 150 years in prison for a $65bn (£41bn) fraud.

This is the last sale of the couple's belongings in New York. There is due to be one more auction, in Florida.

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