Auction Warning Follows Madoff Scandal

By Monica Buchanan
|  Thursday, Dec 10, 2009  |  Updated 8:03 AM EDT
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Bernard L. Madoff, the accused mastermind of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, leaves Federal Court in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009.

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If you thought the scheming was over, it seems Bernie Madoff’s name may now be enough to swindle even more people.  “Madoff auctions” are popping up across the region and now officials are investigating.

The flyers announcing these auctions advertise the personal items of Bernie and Ruth Madoff.  The first of such auction happened last Sunday at Avon Old Farms Hotel in Avon, Conn.

Northeast Galleries, of Leonia, N.J., advertised the one-day auction in Avon as a chance to buy Madoff possessions acquired from the service. But the auction offered few, if any, Madoff items.

“The danger here is that it’s a scam built on another scam a kind of Ponzi scheme like Madoff himself engineered.  We want to make sure there’s documentation on each of these items so people receive fair value for what they’re buying,” said Conn. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

The Department of Consumer Protection also wants proof and is subpoenaing the auctioneers.

“Certainly false advertising is within our jurisdiction and someone who is doing this auction needs an itinerant vendors license from our department,” said Jerry Farrell, the DCP Commissioner.

Two more “Madoff auctions” are set for this weekend in Westbrook and Fairfield, Conn.  Harold Gulliford got an invite to the one in Westbrook and says the Madoff name is certainly a draw.

“Its pretty ironic.  First of all we have this guy who just done a tremendous amount of damage to people financially and emotionally and here he is back in the news again,” said Gulliford of Clinton.

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