US authorities seized disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s antique yacht and a smaller boat from two Florida marinas early today as part of a bid to recoup assets to pay back his swindled investors.
The 55ft (17m) yacht named “Bull” and a 24ft (7.3m) motor boat were taken from marinas on Florida’s east coast, said Barry Golden, a spokesman for the US Marshals Service. The yacht, a 1969 Rybovich, is worth $2.2m (€1.66m).
Madoff, 70, is in jail pending sentencing for pleading guilty to charges that he swindled billions from investors in what could be the biggest scam in Wall Street history. He faces a maximum sentence of 150 years behind bars.
Prosecutors are seizing as much as they can of Madoff’s personal fortune, and have begun demanding millions of dollars in payments from his relatives.
Roughly 6,700 people have filed claims for a share of whatever is recovered. Thousands more – some of whom lost in excess of $1m (€750,000) – are expected to come forward.