Of all the items set to go on the auction block this week at a midtown Manhattan hotel, there's one that would take some mettle to wear in public: A satin New York Mets baseball jacket emblazoned with the name "Madoff."
The jacket _ valued at between $500 and $700 _ is among hundreds of pieces of jewelry, clothing and other personal effects once owned by disgraced financier and vanquished Mets fan Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth.
Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme that spanned decades. The property will be sold to raise money for his victims. Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers Inc. will hold the auction Saturday at the New York Sheraton.
Though thousands of investors with Madoff's once-respected advisory firm believed their securities accounts were worth tens of billions of dollars, he never made investments and instead siphoned new investors' money to pay returns to existing ones _ and to fuel a life of luxury.
Madoff's punishment included a forfeiture order that stripped the Madoffs of nearly all their wealth. The order gave the U.S. Marshals Service authority to seize and sell his homes, boats, cars and other personal property.
The smaller-ticket collectables on the list of sale items include stationery with Bernard and Ruth's names printed on it; flatware engraved with the initials "RMB"; and a wallet embossed with "BLM." There's art, golf clubs and fishing rods. Also a cache of designer purses _ Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada _ valued at hundreds of dollars a piece and antiques that range into the thousands.
It's clear Madoff had a taste for wildly expensive wristwatches, especially Rolex. A half dozen Rolexes are available, including one listed as a "vintage Rolex O.P. 'Monoblocco' chronograph," also known as _ yes _ a "Prisoner Watch." Estimated value is $75,000 to $87,500.
The Mets jacket carries its own special meaning: Team owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz were among the victims of Madoff's fraud. Earlier this year, his season tickets behind home plate at the new Citi Field were auctioned for $38,100 on eBay.
On the Net:
Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers Inc. http://www.txauction.com