Scams

Fake Madoff Auctions Trick Public

Ads have been appearing in local newspapers across the country promoting “Bernie Madoff Auction” sales, promoting art by Peter Max, Salvador Dalí, and Norman Rockwell as a result of the Ponzi schemer’s financial losses. But auction attendees have since learned what’s been billed as a Madoff auction may actually just be another scam. “They all thought it was Madoff stuff, and it's not,” one West Palm Beach, Florida, auction attendee told a local television station. Georgia-based Southern Star Auctioneers has arranged most of the sales, headed by Dion Abadi, who did not return calls regarding this story. His brother Gavin assured Time the merchandise does come from Madoff victims, most of whom, he says, have asked to remain anonymous. Though Gavin admitted to the magazine that the ads “my need tweaking,” his brother has a history of problems with the Florida Board of Auctioneers, which has cited him twice for violating its rules on disingenuous advertising. Making money off of Madoff victims is something critics say has been happening in many industries, from life insurance to real estate.