Author: Associated Press
At 3,014 square feet, the house is cottage-size by superrich standards. Its
furnishings look as old as Madoff’s decades-long fraud. There’s no garage.
Not even a walk-in closet.
But the 1.2-acre lot sits closer to the surf than larger neighbouring homes
on the southeastern tip of Long Island. And the house features a grand,
columned porch with stunning views ? undeniable selling points.
The US Marshals Service, which seized the property just east of the Hamptons
on 1 July, puts it in the marketplace this week to help pay back investors burned
by Madoff’s epic fraud.
Additionally they plan to soon enlist brokers to search out buyers for a Manhattan apartment
and a Palm Beach estate once owned by the financier-turned-felon.
In estimates that federal regulators filed last year, Madoff valued his
Manhattan apartment at $7m and the Florida property at $11m. He said the
Montauk beach house, which he bought in 1979, was worth $3m.
Federal authorities believe the seaside property could bring closer to $8m.
Whether Madoff’s notoriety hurts or helps remains to be seen.
“Our goal is to place the homes on the market soon to attenuate the quantity of
time they remain in our inventory and maximize the return to the victims,br>US Marshal Joseph R. Guccione said yesterday.
Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a
massive Ponzi scheme that spanned decades and spun an online of phantom wealth.
Thousands of investors with Madoff’s once-respected advisory firm believed
their securities accounts were worth tens of billions of dollars. But
investigators say the totals on the clientsmonthly account statements were
fiction. In reality, Madoff never made investments, and instead siphoned new
investorsmoney to pay returns to existing ones ? and to fuel a life of
Madoff’s punishment included a forfeiture order that stripped him and his
wife, Ruth, of nearly all their wealth.
Deputy US Marshal Roland Ubaldo said furniture and some other personal
belongings found inside will be sold at auction ? “from pieces of art to
Ruth Madoff’s shoes./p>
The four-bedroom, three-bath beach house ? which Ubaldo described as “simple,
stylish and understated? is at the bottom of a steep, lushly landscaped
driveway off Old Montauk Highway.
The second-floor entrance leads to a small master bedroom with a private
terrace. A staircase descends to a living room with vaulted ceilings,
exposed beams and a stone fireplace.
Several sets of glass doors open onto the porch. A small swimming pool that
also overlooks the Atlantic Ocean is to the left. A personal path on the
right winds to the beach through pine trees, rose bushes and dune grass.
The Madoffsinterior decorating taste was nautical-meets-folk art. Still on
view are American Indian rugs and pottery. A sculpture of howling wolves
stands outside the front door; just inside is a big wooden goat. There’s a
set of antique duck decoys on a hallway table and fishing poles in a single
The poles, together with golf clubs, an old exercise bike, outdoor wicker chairs
and virtually everything else, have identification numbers ? evidence of a
painstaking inventory and appraisal for auction.