When people break the law, they end up in a cell block. Their illegal goods, the auction block. When criminal mastermind Bernie Madoff was arrested for conning innocent investors out of billions of dollars, the US government seized thousands of luxury items from his estate and put them up for sale.

For the first time on television, the United States Marshals allowed cameras behind the scenes and into the world of high-profile government auctions, where items from Madoff’s New York homes – including a $350,000 diamond ring, rare Persian rugs, and a 1917 Steinway piano – are up for grabs for eager bidders hoping to make the deal of the century.