U.S. Marshals seize Madoff's Florida assets

Bernard Madoff's South Florida property was grabbed by the government on Wednesday, as federal authorities seized a leafy Palm Beach mansion and took over an antique yacht and a smaller motor boat – all part of an effort to recoup assets to pay back his swindled investors.

The U.S. Marshals Service took possession of the jewel among Madoff's local assets: a $9.4 million, five-bedroom mansion at 410 North Lake Way, in ritzy Palm Beach, late Wednesday afternoon, after a New York judge signed the order.

A team of deputy marshals posted a seizure notice, entered the house, changed the locks and began to take a full inventory, said Barry Golden, a Miami-based spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service. Property records show Madoff's wife Ruth Madoff purchased the 8,753 square-foot home in 1994 for $3.8 million.

Earlier in the day, Madoff's 55-foot yacht named "Bull" was seized from a Fort Lauderdale marina, while a 24-foot motor boat was taken from a storage facility in Palm City, Golden said.

The yacht, a 1969 Rybovich, is worth between $800,000 and $2 million, he said. It was taken from Roscioli Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, where it had been kept since 1996.

The boat underwent major refurbishment last year, including mechanical work and a new paint job, at a cost of $130,000, said Kitty McGowan, spokeswoman for Roscioli Yachting Center.

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