Bintel Blog

Zeroing in on Possible Madoff Co-Conspirators

By Gabrielle Birkner

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Bernard Madoff, who is expected to plead guilty Thursday to running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, may not be the only one to go to jail for the massive fraud that he allegedly masterminded. A piece by Lucinda Franks, posted Tuesday night on The Daily Beast, suggests that the feds are focusing their attention on some 20 possible co-conspirators, who are divided into three groups. Franks writes:

In the first group are employees of Madoff’s firm who concocted false trades and sent out phony statements to thousands of unsuspecting clients.

The second group is comprised of principals in feeder funds such as Cohmad Securities Corp. and Fairfield Greenwich Group, which funneled investor dollars to Madoff and received large fees for steering this business. If they were aware of Madoff’s fraud, they could face criminal charges; if they were not, they could be hit with civil charges for a lack of due diligence.

…The third group is the target of an investigation that’s still in its early stages into money laundering through British banks, in which US and British authorities are cooperating. This group consists of solicitors, accountants, and others in London who may have assisted Madoff in transferring funds from client accounts to a Madoff entity that lists Ruth Madoff, brother Peter Madoff, and sons Mark and Andrew Madoff among its board members.

Speaking of Mrs. Madoff: The 67-year-old matriarch, who withdrew some $15.5 million in the weeks leading up to her husband’s arrest, will no longer be represented by her husband’s lawyer, Ira Sorkin. Given the increased scrutiny over her role as a company bookkeeper, she’s apparently decided to retain a lawyer of her own.

And as for Sorkin, as long as he continues to defend Mr. Madoff, he can expect to be a target of much of the public rage against his client. The lawyer, whom the Forward profiled back in January, is the subject of a New York Times article. The piece details the angry messages that fill Sorkin’s email and voicemail boxes. One message, The Times reports, was particularly hateful. It read: “As one Jew to another, I deeply regret that the Sorkin family did not perish in the Nazi death camps.”


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