Looking back on my December 2008 predictions as to what would be the highlights of the watch world during 2009, I must say that a treasure trove of watches on the auction block from perpetrators of Ponzi schemes (Bernie on the (Auction) Block: Madoff’s Monoblocco Rolex, Other Watches Up for Grabs, November 9, 2009) or drug lords (Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 28, 2009) was not on my list! But makes for interesting subject matter…so here’s another!
With the global recession experienced during 2009 we saw some big-time con artists exposed – most notably of course the aforementioned mega-Ponzi scheme criminal Bernie Madoff. But did you hear about South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein? This ostensibly upstanding citizen recently plead ‘not guilty’ to U.S. charges alleging he ran a $1.2 billion fraud. Yes, that is $1.2 BILLION, not million. Yikes! And like Madoff, if not moreso, this guy’s desire to flaunt his wealth (actually may be more likely “other people’s wealth” ) was strong. Yachts, cars, fancy house, politicians (yes they and their votes are also apparently for sale these days) and more – some would say this guy “had it all” and from the looks of the court documents he didn’t come across an expensive item he did not like. Oh, and his watches:
What an ostentatious lineup! Pretty absurd, huh? And this is just the tip of the iceberg as the court docs indicate over 300 watch and jewelry items in his possession. If you care to wager a guess or shed some light on any of the brands/models show above, hit the comment button and let me know!
Anyway – the coverage of Scott Rothstein’s demise has been extensive, but since I covered the Bernie Madoff Auction, I thought it only fitting to give a quick post on the subject as a new auction is now on the horizon. Turns out that the items seized at this fella’s law offices (Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler) are going up for auction on January 23, 2010. While I do not see any wristwatches in the mix for now, there are a couple watch-related items along with a bunch of sports memorabilia. Below you will see 2 of the items – looks like a Franck Muller Crazy Hours Dual Time wall clock and some sort of Cartier desktop clock (pocketwatch maybe but don’t think so?) will be up for grabs to the highest bidder:
This particular auction aside, I would venture a guess that the watches you see in the first photo above – and many more – will be auctioned sometime in 2010 as Scott Rothstein’s case moves forward. I’ll keep you posted
Last word – hopefully this is the last Ponzi scheme I cover for a very long time – you may not know it, but the loss and devastation caused by these types of scams runs far and wide – quite sad, really.