Sept. 1, 2009 -- The luxury beachfront home of now-imprisoned Bernie Madoff, purchased with money stolen from his victims of his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, is up for grabs to the first buyer who offers $8.75 million for the oceanfront estate in the Hamptons, Long Island.
With four bedrooms and three baths, the estate in the village of Montauk spans 3000 square feet and boasts panoramic ocean views. Famous neighbors include Ralph Lauren and Robert DeNiro.
"As soon as you walk into it, there is an understated elegance you don't see from the outside," said U.S. Marshal Roland Ubaldo, who said officials are standing firm on the asking price – the market value of the home – which will go towards compensating Madoff's victims. The home is listed through the Corcoran Group.
The Montauk residence, built in 1982 and seized from the Madoffs July 1, comes complete with an outdoor pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The personal items that remain – from carpets to flat screen televisions to an exercise bike – are tagged and being prepared for auction.
Montauk was the setting for Madoff's extravagant beach parties for employees of his investment firm, where Bernie and Rush hosted lobster dinners and bonfires.The home's caretaker, Robert T. Schorr, said the Madoffs kept the property "immaculate" and that Ruth was in charge.
"She ran the show," Schorr said. "She's the one I did business with most of the time."
Schorr said Ruth Madoff would call him to tell him when their chartered plane would arrive in Montauk.
The U.S. Marshals are also selling off the Madoff's other mansions and yachts. U.S. Marshal Joseph R. Guccione said the goal is to get the homes for sale - in Montauk, Manhattan and Palm Beach - soon to "minimize the amount of time they remain in our inventory and maximize the return to the victims."
"The U.S. Marshals Service is working diligently towards the disposition of the assets related to the Madoff case," Guccione said. "The interrelated assets in this case include three homes, three vessels, multiple vehicles, thousands of pieces of personal property items and numerous financial and commercial real estate partnerships."