Bernie Madoff and his wife Ruth lived a privileged life. Apartments on Manhattan’s tony Upper East Side, a 55.5 foot luxury yacht named “Bull”, two private planes on call, a $9 million mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, memberships at exclusive country clubs, millions of dollars worth of expensive jewelry and $3 million beachfront property on Long Island.
Then, suddenly, everything changed for the former investment manager of Ascot partners. The downturn in the national economy and the crisis in stock market had a lot of businesses and families wanting to pull out their money they had invested with Madoff. The truth was, as many of his clients would soon find out, there wasn’t any money. Bernie Madoff and his multi-billion dollar portfolio was all a lie.
Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure the name Bernie Madoff strikes a chord with you. He was recently sentenced to 150 years in jail for running a $50 billion ponzi scheme that wiped out the fortunes of some of nation’s wealthiest families, forced lots of hedge funds to liquidate their holdings and sent the stock of companies that invested with him into a tailspin. While he was out on bail pending his trial, authorities discovered that Madoff had mailed almost $1 million of precious jewelry to his family members from his $7 million Manhattan apartment on Christmas Eve.
Authorities say 16 watches, including a diamond-encrusted timepieces from Cartier and Tiffany, an emerald ring, four diamond brooches and two sets of cufflinks were mailed to his family in violation of a court order. When the news of the jewel transfer broke, it sent a wave of outrage among Madoff’s victims and the public. Madoff’s attorneys tell a different story of a broken man and his wife sending some sentimental personal items to their loved ones. They say it was an honest mistake. In a written statement, his attorneys wrote “Mr. Maddoff gathered a number of watches that he had collected over the course of years, knowing that, due to the sudden change in his circumstances; he would never have an occasion to wear these watches again.”
There’s another side to this sordid tale of greed and deception. What about the people that lost everything? It’s ironic that as Madoff prepares to go to prison indefinitely he is mailing his sentimental jewelry to his family, while his ex-clients are being forced to sell theirs. In New York, a jewelry-buying firm called CIRCA says they have been getting an influx of ex-Madoff clients who need to unload their jewelry. The firm’s C.E.O, Chris Del Gatto, says he had a client in Beverly Hills who mailed in a nine-carat diamond to sell just so she could pay her expenses. The same goes for their Palm Beach office, where the company’s director Tracy Sherman says she has been visiting the homes of Madoff victims. Sherman says some of the people have their precious jewelry all laid out on a table, each with a story behind it, contemplating how much they can get for them. She says the jewels aren’t the only thing for sale, so are some of the victim’s homes.
Bernie Madoff is a name that some may remember as a swindler, a cheat, a genius and a thief. Others may remember this case because of the astonishing amount of jewelry and property that had to be sold by the nation’s elite.
Steal This Look: Celebrity Jewelry
Celebrities are everywhere. We see pictures of them on the television, on the internet and in magazines. Even radio personalities talk about how they look, what they are doing and, more importantly what they are wearing. These movie stars and musicians have the money and the access to the best of everything in the world of fashion,...
Summer Jewelry Trends 2009: Must Have Accessories
Summer is here and I am sure that you have already done away with the sweaters, wool blazers and heavy coats. Now is the time to break out your softer pieces: flowy chiffon, soft cottons and lightweight tunics. Summer is wonderful time for bright colors in clothing and jewelry. Let’s face it, as the weather gets hotter we tend to show...
Hot Accessories for Spring 2009
The Gem Color of Spring is…. Yellow, mimosa yellow to be exact. Spring time is just around the corner and the sharp lines and dark colors of winter are taking a back seat to soft, flowing silhouettes and bright colors. Take a cue from the change of tone in fashion and lighten up your jewelry gem color scheme as well.
Valentine’s Day Stories: Anecdotes of Love
Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days for marriage proposals. There’s something about February 14th that makes people more inclined to tell their loved ones how much they really mean to them. Gorgeous bouquets of flowers make a woman smile, chocolate and wine arouse one’s sensual energies and the beautiful poems written on the...
Joolwe.com Announces the Selfless Woman Award Winners of 2010
Joolwe.com likes to keep members of our community up to date on jewelry designers, industry news and people who look at jewelry as an important part of their everyday lives. We would like to introduce you to Diane Danielson, founder of www.womensdish.com. Her website focuses on women’s issues such as career advice, finances, fashion and...