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Sculpture Missing from Bernard Madoff's NY Beach Home
This is a view of the porch of the house of Bernard Madoff in Montauk, New York, seen Friday, August 28, 2009. Madoff, 71, is serving 150 years in prison for defrauding investors in a multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme. A court-appointed trustee is liquidating Madoff's assets. (AP Photo/Robert Mecea)
MONTAUK, NY (AP).- Security has been tightened at Bernard Madoff's former beach home after the theft of a sculpture off the front porch.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Todd Sarris says the 4-foot-tall sculpture, with an Aztec motif, is valued at around $300.

A caretaker reported the sculpture missing on Saturday. He said he'd last seen it two days earlier.

The oceanfront property is in Montauk (MAHN'-tawk), on the eastern end of Long Island. It's list for sale at $8.75 million.

Madoff was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a massive, decades-long Ponzi scheme.

The punishment included a forfeiture order that stripped Madoff and his wife of nearly all their wealth, including homes.

It boasts ocean views, an infamous former owner — and now a buyer willing to pay more than $8.75 million.

An unidentified buyer or buyers snapped up Bernard Madoff's Long Island beach house within days after the U.S. Marshals Service put the seized property up for sale, a spokeswoman for the broker the Corcoran Group said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Anne Lacombe said the fallen money manager's Montauk retreat was under contract for more than its $8.75 million asking price. She didn't have the exact figure, any information on the intended buyer or the closing date.

The U.S. Marshals Service put the 3,000-square-foot house on the market Sept. 1 to help repay victims of Madoff's massive investment fraud. The agency didn't immediately return a phone call Thursday.

The listing attracted an onslaught of responses and numerous bids, Lacombe said. She said the highest bid was taken.

Madoff's notoriety "made it come to a lot of people's attention, but it's really all about the location of the views and the home," she said.

The four-bedroom house is set on a 1.2-acre lot amid the dunes in Montauk, a windswept beach community east of the Hamptons. The house is modest by Hamptons standards, but it boasts stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and sits closer to the surf than zoning laws now allow.

"These kind of properties are very rare," Lacombe said.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that encompassed thousands of investors and billions of dollars.

His punishment included a forfeiture order that stripped him and his wife, Ruth, of nearly all their wealth. The order gave the marshals authority to seize and sell the Madoffs' homes.

Their five-bedroom waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., remains on the market for $8.5 million, Lacombe said.

Their Manhattan penthouse, listed at $9.9 million, has drawn several seriously interested potential buyers, said Anne Corey, the Sotheby's International Realty broker representing that property.








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September 18, 2009

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