U.S. Marshal Worker’s Job is to Sell Homes like Bernie Madoff’s

She doesn’t hunt fugitives. But she does hunt for buyers. She’s not typical of the people who work for the U.S. Marshals Service.

Madoff's Palm Beach home/pool photo
Madoff's Palm Beach home/pool photo
By Justin Blum
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Sally Schowalter pauses at the dark wood door to Bernard Madoff’s former home in Palm Beach, Florida, her eyes fixed on a U.S. Marshals Service sticker on the window warning against trespassing.

“It’s intimidating,” she tells her colleagues. “Can we take it off?”

Schowalter works for the Marshals Service, though she doesn’t carry a badge or a gun. Her job entails getting the best price for confiscated real estate such as the Florida house, appraised this year for $7.67 million by Palm Beach County. With the Madoff house, the hazards for those who work with Schowalter can be unusual — including flying dog poop hurled by a disgruntled passerby.

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