Bernie Madoff's assets seized

Federal marshals took the disgraced financier's 55-foot boat called 'Bull,' a smaller boat and one of his homes in south Florida.

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Madoff's custom-built yacht is now in federal custody.
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Federal marshals corralled Bernard Madoff's yacht "Bull," a smaller boat and one of the disgraced financier's homes in south Florida on Wednesday as the court-ordered seizure of his assets got under way.

Barry Golden, a deputy U.S. marshal, said the raids in Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach were among several actions being carried out under orders from a federal court in New York, where Madoff pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, money laundering and perjury earlier this month.

"There are other seizures, we believe, going on in New York," Golden said.

The Bull, a 55-foot motor yacht custom-built in 1969, has been berthed at the Roscioli Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale. It is worth about $800,000, said Robert Roscioli, the marina's owner.

"The boat is immaculate," Roscioli said. "It's an antique that has been well taken care of and maintained."

Marshals in south Florida also seized a second, smaller boat, the 24-foot "Little Bull," Golden said. And marshals took possession of Madoff's home in Palm Beach, where the taurine theme continued.

"There were bulls everywhere," he said. "Large statues of bulls, small statues of bulls, bull bookends."

Madoff is to be sentenced in June, and prosecutors have asked a judge to confiscate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of his and his family's assets. The U.S. attorney's office in New York had no immediate comment on the operation.

In addition, judges overseeing several lawsuits filed by the roughly 4,000 alleged victims of Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme have ordered assets frozen.

-- CNN's Susan Candiotti, Kim Segal and Mark Norman contributed to this report. To top of page

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