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Madoff Trustee Seeks More From Cohmad Securities

Oct 12, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

The court-appointed trustee charged with liquidating Bernard Madoff’s business is seeking to recuperate $245 million from bogus profits in his lawsuit against Cohmad Securities Corporation, said Bloomberg.com. The figure represents an increase from $213 million, said Bloomberg.com, which noted that Cohmad Securities shared office space with Madoff.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced to 150 years in prison for running a massive Ponzi scheme that is estimated to be the largest in history and which has allegedly cost investors as much as $65 billion. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities is the investment firm that served as a ”front” for the scam, noted CNN previously. Irving Picard is the trustee spearheading the investigation and continues to work to determine how much Madoff stole because. Although the disgraced financier claimed to have $65 billion, the figure was based on false investment statements, said CNN in a prior report. The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York said the losses suffered by Madoff’s 2,336 victims exceeded $13 billion, at last count, said CNN recently.

According to Picard, the new figure was recently released and based on revised data he discovered as part of his ongoing investigation, said Bloomberg.com. The figure was released in an amended complaint with Manhattan’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to Bloomberg.com.

It seems that Peter, Bernard’s brother and Bernard’s niece, Shana, worked for Cohmad, said Bloomberg.com and were part of what Picard described as a “vast network” involved in furthering the historic Ponzi scheme. Picard sued Cohmad this June, according to Bloomberg.com. “For over two decades, Cohmad’s primary business was recruiting an ever-expanding list of high-net-worth clients into Madoff’s Ponzi scheme,” Picard said, quoted Bloomberg.com.

Duped investors, investigators, and virtually anyone who has read about the massive financial swindle has long believed that Madoff’s family members were involved in the scam that stripped countless investors of their life savings. Recently, CNN reported that Picard planned on suing four more of Bernard’s family members for about $200 million, citing a CBS “60 Minutes” broadcast report. Picard's suits will include both of Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew; Bernard’s brother, Peter; and Bernard’s niece, Shana for a combined total of $198 million, said CNN previously.

Picard filed for $44.8 million against Ruth, Bernard’s wife, this July, said CNN. The amount correlates to the monies Ruth transferred from Bernard’s investment firm over six years, CNN added. According to Bloomberg.com, when Madoff’s scam finally fell apart, it was revealed that about 20 percent of Madoff’s active accounts were actually referred by Cohmad (52), said Picard. Madoff and Maurice “Sonny” Cohn, a friend and former native of Madoff, co-founded Cohmad, said Bloomberg.com.

According to Bloomberg.com, Cohn and about 24 other individuals and trusts have been sued due to allegations they received about 90 percent of their income as a result of client referrals to Madoff.

Earlier this year, the Washington Post said the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) internal investigation was focusing, in part, on the relationship between Madoff’s niece, Shana Madoff, and her husband, Eric Swanson.


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