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Madoff collection hitting the auction circuit

Fraudster Bernie Madoff’s Sports Card and Memorabilia Collection is hitting the virtual auction block later this week on Proxibid’s online auction site.
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Fraudster Bernie Madoff’s Sports Card and Memorabilia Collection is hitting the virtual auction block later this week on Proxibid’s online auction site.

Just about anyone who's paid attention to the news over the past year is familiar with the story of Bernie Madoff, the former New York investment guru currently serving a lengthy prison sentence after admitting to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history and defrauding investors out of billions of dollars. What isn't as well known is that the U.S. Marshals are in the process of auctioning off his property and belongings, hoping to recoup a fraction of the losses for his victims.

collectors should be especially interested to know that among the Madoff possessions hitting the auction block this weekend are treasure troves of sports cards and collectibles. When you deal with the amounts of money that Madoff did, you can build yourself quite a collection, and he did exactly that.

Apparently Madoff was quite the hockey fan, because the majority of the 50-plus sports lots in the auction - which is being run by Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers - are devoted to the stars of the NHL. There are numerous pieces of memorabilia autographed by Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky and game-used sticks from Tom Barrasso and other former Penguins. There are hockey cards of every kind, from rookie cards to autographed and game-used cards to full sets, featuring Gordie Howe, Alexander Ovechkin and practically every other notable star in-between.

Madoff's collection has some treats for aficionados of other sports as well. Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl teams can bid on autographed Lynn Swann and Mel Blount footballs or a helmet signed by Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Ham and Jack Lambert. Hoops collectors can check out Larry Bird autographs and a Michael Jordan rookie card.

And for anyone seeking something even more unique - and would be a conversation starter, for sure - the auction has that too. How about a personalized New York Mets satin jacket with Madoff's name on the back?

The sports lots make up only about 10 percent of the entire auction, with much of the remainder devoted to jewelry, fur coats and things like Madoff's golf clubs and fishing equipment. Auction estimates show that the entire sale could bring in at least half a million dollars.

(This story originally appeared on the Cardboard Connection websit at

The New York Sheraton Hotel & Towers will host live bidding for the auction beginning at 10 am on Saturday, November 14. A live preview will be held the previous day from 11 am to 4 pm.

Bidding can also be done online by registering with Proxibid ( by Thursday, November 12. The Proxibid site also has a virtual catalog providing views and descriptions of all of the auction lo

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