Auction for alleged Ponzi schemer's treasures

April 17, 2011 8:16:02 PM PDT
The auctioneer spent all day selling off millions of dollars worth of apparently ill-gotten gains from alleged swindling master Robert Stinson, Jr.

His personal property was seized by the federal marshal and the court-appointed receiver.

Stinson from Berwyn, 55, was indicted and arrested Friday and charged with defrauding 260 investors of $17-million in a Ponzi scheme.

The government says Stinson's Life's Good Inc. promised returns of 10 to 16 percent through real estate investments. Prosecutors say he was using the investors' money for himself and his family and to pay earlier victims to keep the scam going.

Clearly, Life's Good brought Stinson and his family lots of the good life.

The inventory filling the entire auction house today was extensive.

"It's definitely first class material; all this stuff seems very nice and the deals seem pretty well so far," bidder Robert Popso said.

Hundreds of bidders came out today and hundreds of proxies were present as well bidding on everything from a fleet of 12 cars (including four Mercedes), flat screen TVs, furniture, audio gear, a Steinway baby grand piano, and other high-end musical instruments. Plus, furnishings to fill multiple homes and offices, jewelry, and recreation gear were all up for grabs.

What happens to all the money that was raised at the auction? The funds will be divided up among the alleged victims of Stinson's Life's Good Inc.

"Part of what we're doing here today is selling these assets to recoup as much money as possible," court-appointed receiver Kamian Schwartzman said.

According to the Justice Department, Stinson has been convicted of fraud many times before; if he goes down this time, he could be looking at a sentence of more than 300 years in federal prison.