Auction Warning Follows Madoff Scandal - NBC Connecticut

Auction Warning Follows Madoff Scandal

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    Bernard L. Madoff, the accused mastermind of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme, leaves Federal Court in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009.

    If you thought the scheming surrounding Bernie Madoff was over, it seems his name might now be enough to swindle even more people through Madoff auctions that are popping up across the state. Now several state agencies are investigating.

    The flyers announcing these auctions advertise the personal items of Bernie and Ruth Madoff.  The first of such auctions happened last Sunday at Avon Old Farms Hotel in Avon but customers complained that there were only a few Madoff items and no certificates of authenticity.

    “The danger here is that it’s a scam built on another scam -- a kind of Ponzi scheme like Madoff himself engineered. We want to make sure there’s documentation on each of these items so people receive fair value for what they’re buying,” said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

    The Department of Consumer Protection also wants proof and is subpoenaing the auctioneers.

    “Certainly false advertising is within our jurisdiction and someone who is doing this auction needs an itinerant vendors license from our department,” said Jerry Farrell, the DCP Commissioner.

    Two more "Madoff" auctions are set for this weekend in Westbrook and Fairfield. 

    Harold Gulliford, of Clinton, received an invitation to the one in Westbrook and says the Madoff name is certainly a draw.

    “Its pretty ironic. First of all, we have this guy who's just done a tremendous amount of damage to people financially and emotionally and here he is back in the news again,” Gulliford said.

    NBC Connecticut’s calls to the New Jersey-based auction company were not returned.  As of this point, both auctions scheduled for this weekend are still on.