Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Second black box found at Air Algérie crash site in Mali

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • French PM calls for calm ahead of banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

Business

Madoff's luxury yacht seized by US marshalls

Video by Luke BROWN , Hélène DROUET

Latest update : 2009-04-02

In a further seize of assets belonging to fraudster Bernard Madoff, US marshalls confiscated his luxury yacht in Florida on Wednesday. Authorities were meanwhile targeting a feeder fund that allegedly perpetuated Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

AFP - US officials on Wednesday seized Wall Street conman Bernard Madoff's yacht and charged business associates who fed billions of dollars into his scheme with fraud.

US marshalls boarded the 55-foot (16.8-meter) yacht "Bull" at a marina in Florida, footage on NBC television showed. They also confiscated a smaller boat at another marina.

Madoff, 70, is in jail awaiting sentencing in June for running a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi fraud. He faces a sentence of up to 150 years.

Authorities in Massachusetts, meanwhile, targeted Fairfield Greenwich Group, a feeder fund that allegedly lied to clients while encouraging them to pour billions of dollars into Madoff's investment company.

In an administrative complaint, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth said there was a "profound disparity" between the due diligence checks Fairfield told clients it was making on Madoff and those actually made.

Fairfield's "complete disregard of its fiduciary duties to investors and its flagrant and recurring misrepresentations to its investors rises to the level of fraud," the complaint read.

The regulators said they would seek a court order requiring restitution from Fairfield to victims.

Fairfield funneled more than seven billion dollars in funds to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities before it was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme.

The scheme collapsed when too many clients asked to withdraw their capital and Madoff was arrested December 11.

Madoff claims he acted alone. However, the charge against Fairfield shows how his long-term associates helped prolong -- even if unwittingly -- his scheme.

Just over half of the 14 billion dollars that Fairfield had under management at the end of last year was tied up with Madoff Investments, according to the company.

Fees earned by Fairfield for generating investments in Madoff's fund reached some 100 million dollars annually, regulators said. Senior individuals in the firm also received huge compensation as a result of these fees.

One of Fairfield's founders, Jeffrey Tucker, testified that he earned 100 million dollars over 10 years from dealings with Madoff.

Regulators said that other documents dating to 2008 indicated that senior employees may have earned considerably more, with one partner earning in excess of 45 million dollars in 2007 and Tucker earning 30 million dollars in that year.

"Fairfield and its key personnel claim to have had no idea whatsoever that Madoff was anything other than the legitimate broker and brilliant market-timer they promoted him as," regulators said.

"They were blinded by the fees they were earning, did not engage in meaningful due diligence, and turned a blind eye to any fact that would have burst their lucrative bubble."
 

Date created : 2009-04-02

COMMENT(S)