Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff's yacht "Bull", two smaller boats and a Mercedes-Benz convertible were sold at auction Tuesday for more than $1 million combined.
Madoff's 1969 Rybovich, a restored 55-foot fishing boat, sold for $700,000 to an unknown buyer. A 38-foot Shelter Island runabout named "Sitting Bull" went for $320,000 and the 24-foot Maverick center console "Little Bull" fetched $21,000. The Mercedes, a 1999 model owned by Ruth Madoff, sold for $30,000.
A 61-foot Viking yacht once owned by Madoff's former chief financial officer, Frank DiPascali, sold for $950,000.
The private auction was held by the U.S. Marshals Service, which seized Madoff's property and assets after his massive Ponzi scheme was exposed. All proceeds will benefit Madoff's wronged investors, and Madoff himself is serving a 150-year federal prison sentence.
Seventy bidders registered for the event, many of them putting up a $100,000 deposit to make offers on the yachts. Kevin Quirk, a marina manager, said Madoff's notoriety was a big reason for the large turnout.
"It's the hottest thing going," Quirk said.
Kim Hannah, who lost out on a bid for the Mercedes, said she and her boyfriend were motivated in part because the money would go to Madoff's victims.
"It was a chance to give back and also get a good car," Hannah said.
The boat auction followed a sale of Madoff personal property in New York that also raised more than $1 million. Two or three additional auctions are planned, and Madoff's homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach remain for sale.