Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Madoff luxury auction raises $2m

The inside of Bernie Madoff's fishing boat Bull
Madoff's restored 1969 Rybovich fishing boat "Bull" sold for $700,000

An auction of luxury goods that once belonged to the disgraced financier Bernie Madoff, his wife and an adviser has raised $2m (£1.2m) in the US.

The money, raised by selling four boats and a car in Florida, will be returned to Madoff's victims.

The 70-year-old is serving 150 years in jail for running the biggest pyramid scheme in US history.

An auction of his goods last week raised more than $1m (£600,000) but two of his properties remain on the market.

The BBC's Andy Gallagher in Miami says just a handful of bidders attended the private auction in Florida but the competition was fierce.

Three boats belonging to Madoff sold for just over $1m and a yacht once owned by Madoff's former chief financial officer, Frank DiPascali, raised nearly the same amount of cash on its own.

Help for victims

Madoff's homes in New York and Palm Beach are also still on the market.

In a statement, acting US Marshal Neil DeSousa said: "The sales of the Madoff assets far exceeded all expectations, which equates to more money that will go back to the victims involved in the Madoff case."

A Mercedes Benz car that once belonged to Madoff's wife Ruth was sold for $30,000 (£17,848).

The 70 bidders had to register their interest beforehand with the US Marshals Service, which seized Madoff's property and assets, and agree to pay a minimum amount for the luxury goods.

Kim Hannah, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Mercedes convertible said she was motivated by the fact the proceeds would be given to Madoff's victims, Associated Press news agency reported.

She said: "It was a chance to give back and also get a good car."

More of Madoff's property will be offered at other sales, according to the US Marshals' asset forfeiture division.

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