US authorities seized disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s Palm Beach mansion, his vintage yacht and a smaller boat, in a bid to recoup assets to compensate the investors he swindled.
Barry Golden, a spokesman for the US Marshals Service, said about five marshals arrived at the Florida mansion late on Wednesday, hours after the boats were seized.
Authorities spent hours securing the mansion, changing the locks and conducting an inventory of the property, which Palm Beach County records show had a taxable value of $9.3 million (e6.9m) last year.
Madoff, 70, is in jail in New York awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to swindling billions from investors in what could be the biggest scam in Wall Street history. He faces up to 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 are expected to come forward.
Mr Golden said marshals spent about three to four hours filming and photographing items in the house that might be removed at some point.
Earlier, Mr Golden said Madoff’s 55ft yacht named Bull and a 24ft motor boat were taken from marinas on Florida’s east coast. The yacht, a 1969 Rybovich, is worth $2.2m (e1.6m).
If prosecutors get their way, Madoff and his wife, who has not been charged, will have to give up all their assets.
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