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Bernie Madoff's cellar nets $41,530 in auction

Remember Bernie Madoff? The most notorious of the white-collar criminals nailed when the economy was going to hell for using the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history to swindle investors -- including several Coloradans -- out of a cool $65 billion?

Well, he's now serving 150 years in the pokey, so he probably won't be needing the collection of vino he waved goodbye to yesterday: The bottles seized from the wine cellar in his Miami vacation home brought in $41,530 at an auction.

The pre-bid cellar value was estimated at somewhere between $15,000 and $21,000; the former investment adviser had a fairly unimpressive collection, save for the case of '96 Mouton Rothschilds (1996 happened to be a pretty good vintage in Bordeaux) that went for $6,800. Even so, a handful of mini-bar bottles, about $20 worth of booze, netted $300 -- apparently you just can't assign a value to a two-ounce conversation piece once owned by a world-class dick who probably pilfered it from an airplane or hotel room.

Still, the auction was all for a good cause: all proceeds go to compensating victims, and while $41 Gs may be a drop in the bucket of $65 billion, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye, right? Right.

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