Stanford auction to be held this weekend

May 11, 2012 2:56:45 PM PDT
Hundreds of items that once belonged to disgraced money manager R. Allen Stanford are going on the auction block this weekend. Stanford was convicted two months ago for running a massive Ponzi scheme that lost around $7 billion of investors' money.

The warehouse is in northeast Houston, and it looks like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. The warehouse just keep on going with row after row of merchandise. Most of it is office furniture but some of it is personal furniture belonging to a former Stanford executive.

Until three years ago, this furniture would have been found in the offices of Stanford financial near the Galleria. Now it sits in a warehouse, organized, numbered and awaiting buyers.

"If these could talk, what do you think they'd say?" we asked Auctioneer Seth Worstell.

"I don't know, couldn't tell you," he said.

When R. Allen Stanford's empire crashed, taking investor and clients money in what was called a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, whatever assets could be found became the property of the court and its receiver. That includes the personal contents of Stanford CFO Jim Davis. Everything was seized, from a $310,000 grandfather clock to a baby grand piano, a now-ironic inspirational poster and a pair of inflated exercise balls.

"With the nature of this sale, everything is going to sell absolutely - no minimums, no reserves, so there's absolutely an opportunity here for people to get a great deal," Worstell said.

It's the end of an era at Worstell Auctions. Founder Harry Worstell is retiring Saturday, and his son will take over the business. Worstell oversaw the last Stanford auction. Before that, he auctioned off Enron assets. This, he says, is better stuff

"There are many exciting things in this, there many things I've never sold," Harry Worstell said.

They say there's no minimum bid for the stuff up on the auction and they say everything must go.

The warehouse opens for viewing at 8am Saturday and the auction begins at 10am.


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