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September 16, 2021

Inside Bernie Madoff's $7.5-million Ponzi pad

To think, in 150 years Bernie Madoff will have no place to call home.

Finally, after months of packing and cataloguing the arch-fraudster’s possessions and personal affects, Ponzi master Madoff’s $7.5-million-plus Manhattan penthouse is now for sale.

And come on inside. The U.S. Marshals invite you to take the guided tour.

Deputy Marshal Roland Ubaldo takes the New York Post on a trip through the Upper East Side apartment, which comes off exactly like you’d imagine an episode of MTV Cribs: Mothball Scammers and Their Old Furniture should.

Still, the place is pretty elegant and – despite the $8.75-million asking price for his Hamptons beach house – is billed as the “crown jewel” of Madoff’s four properties.

As for the mystique of the penthouse, there is that too. “He lived his life out this apartment and probably did his scheme out of this apartment,” Ubaldo offers during the video tour.

Indeed, if you’ve ever wanted to live like Public Enemy No. 1, this is your spot.

While Madoff stayed under house arrest in the Ponzi Penthouse after his December bust, he’s been out since May when he was sentenced to 1.5 centuries behind bars in a North Carolina prison.

But he left behind 4,000 square feet of luxury, and if you’ve got a few spare mil and a stomach for the Ghosts of Fraud Victims Past, you could soon call this baby home.

You can watch the tour on the Post’s website, but here’s what you’ll find:

-7 rooms, 4 bedrooms, 1 master bedroom
-a modern kitchen -- marble/stainless steel countertops, solarium windows, breakfast nook overlooking Manhattan’s east-side
-four working fireplaces
-his/her kitchens, bathrooms and offices
-12 foot ceilings
-at least two dozen old man artefacts that will make you say, “Yikes, who lived here, Orville Redenbacher?”

What’s also worth mentioning is Madoff comes off in the tour as kind of a dork. All his hundreds of pairs of shoes were meticulously organized, he had “fifty to sixty” suits only all of them were dark, and he had all of his shirts custom-made with the initials BLM monogrammed on them.

But most of all that has been packed away and is ready for auction. Will the place sell? Yeah, of course, it’s New York City. For how much, though?

U.S. Marshals are hopeful they can nab the $7.5-million asking price and it's good to root for that happening. All the money from the sale of Madoff’s estate will go in a fund to partially reimburse the investor’s victims of fraud.

“We believe the dark cloud has lifted, and we’re going to get prospective buyers for this apartment,” Ubaldo says.

“Unfortunately, (everything in here was) purchased based on lies and deceit, but again we hope that dark cloud has moved on.”

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...