Vast wine collection of alleged Ponzi schemer, Rick Siskey, auctioned off
An auction of the late Rick Siskey’s wine collection brought in gross proceeds of $1.45 million, producing more funds that can benefit investors harmed by the Charlotte businessman’s alleged investment fraud.
More than 4,000 bottles were on the block Friday and Saturday in Hillsborough, making it potentially the largest single-owner wine collection ever put up for bid in a Southeastern or Mid-Atlantic state.
Siskey, 58, took his own life in December, days after court filings gave the first public indication that he was under investigation for fraud. An FBI affidavit unsealed in January alleged he was operating a Ponzi scheme for years, costing investors millions.
Proceeds from the wine auction, as well as an earlier estate auction, will benefit investors and creditors, attorneys have said. Siskey’s widow, Diane, has also pledged proceeds from life insurance and the sale of the couple’s SouthPark mansion, although claims against her could slow the process.
A court-appointed-bankruptcy trustee is currently sifting through investor and creditor claims.
The auction, co-hosted by Leland Little Auctions and Iron Horse Auction Co., drew bidders in person, online and by phone. Among the higher-priced items sold over the two days was a case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, 1982 vintage, for $27,500.
Other purchases of note, according to Mark Solomon, the fine wine auction director at Leland Little Auctions:
▪ One bottle of Romanee Conti, 2005 vintage, for $13,000.
▪ Three bottles of Screaming Eagle, 1995 vintage, for $7,750.
▪ Six bottles of Chateau Haut Brion, 1989 vintage, for $7,500.