The thing about being a (alleged) no-good, greedy, conniving scamster responsible for ruining the lives of so many unsuspecting investors is that you don't have a great deal of wiggle room in the goodwill department. Julia Fenwick was the office manager of Madoff's London office, and she's, well, a bit ticked about being left for dead ever since the scandal broke. So she's decided to yap about her experiences to the Daily Mail - and it turns out that she has a lot to say about Bernie's spending habits. As summarized by NY magazine:
Foodstuffs: Madoff was a teetotaler, Fenwick says; he only ever drank Diet Coke (£3.60 a pint, or $5.23). But he had other vices. "Even though he is Jewish, he loves pork sausages … one of Madoff's favourite pastimes when visiting London was tucking into a fry-up" (£27, or $39 at Brown's on Abermarle Street). For lunch, he "always ate the same sandwiches — cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber on brown bread" (Marks & Spencer, £2.20, or $3.19).
Clothing and Accessories: Madoff collected vintage watches ($2,900 to $72,000) mainly through vintage specialist George Somlo. He also bought wedding bands to match the color and design of each watch ($525-$1950, Tiffany &Co.). During his two or three visits a year, Madoff would often take advantage of his office's proximity to Savile Row by asking his tailors, Kilgour, to see him in the boardroom (average of $6,000 per suit).
Business Expenses: Madoff traveled in style. According to Fenwick, he purchased a black and gray Brazilian-built Embraer Regional Jet 145 last year, at a cost of £20 million ($29 million). "There were sofas and beds behind curtains at the back of the plane," she said. "He'd installed a cappuccino machine [$1650] and under all the seats were pockets full of biscuits and sweets. Bernie's initials were on the front of all the crockery." Once in London, Madoff liked to stay at the Lanesborough Hotel (up to $11,600 a night). The office was nice, too. According to Fenwick, Madoff refurbished it last year to the tune of £500,000 ($726,000), including handmade desks and a new IT system, for £80,000 ($116,000). In New York, she says, he also insisted on squaring off the interior of the elliptical Lipstick Building, "which is mad" (cost unknown).
Oh, there also was the barbecue for 400 guests at Madoff's home in Montauk, Long Island (your choice of lobster or steak), and just this past May a golfing trip in Mexico to celebrate his 70th birthday party. Everybody got hoodies that were stitched with his initials and year of his birth — BLM 1938. Think of the resale value! Fenwick says he "showed no sign of being under pressure as he lounged on the beach, singing along to his favorite Neil Diamond songs."
*Prosecutors asked that Madoff be jailed after he and his wife sent watches, jewelry and other heirlooms to his brother, his sons and a couple in Florida. The items are said to be valued at $1 million. Madoff's lawyer said the items were sent "innocently." From the WSJ:
The items included watches, $25 cufflinks, pens and $200 mittens that were a Hanukkah gift, Mr. Sorkin said. Mr. Sorkin said the items were mailed Dec. 24, two days before Mr. Madoff's wife agreed to a voluntary freeze on her assets. Mr. Sorkin said the Madoffs have made "every effort" to get the items back after they were advised by his lawyers that they shouldn't have sent the items. U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis declined to detain Mr. Madoff on Monday and asked the parties to file papers on the motion by Thursday. A decision on the government's motion is expected later in the week.