Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call to return home

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google rivals Amazon with delivery drone tests

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

DEBATE

US-Africa summit: Obama unveils $33 billion US investment plan for Africa

Read more

  • Ukraine death toll mounts as Kiev plans to join NATO

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

Americas

Madoff says banks 'had to know' about Ponzi scheme

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-16

Bernard Madoff, the mastermind behind one of history's most notorious Ponzi schemes, told the New York Times that banks and hedge funds were complicit in his grandiose plan, and accused them of having turned a blind eye to his activities.

REUTERS - A frail Bernard Madoff, facing the rest of his life in prison, said a variety of banks and hedge funds were complicit in and "had to know" about his epic Ponzi scheme before it was uncovered, The New York Times reported.

 In his first interview for publication since his December 2008 arrest, Madoff said banks and hedge funds who dealt with his investment advisory firm demonstrated a "willful blindness" toward his activities, and failed to examine discrepancies between his regulatory filings and other information.
 
"They had to know," Madoff, described as noticeably thinner and dressed in khaki prison clothing, said in a visiting room in the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina. "But the attitude was sort of, 'If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know.'"
 
Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence for what prosecutors called his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, which was uncovered in December 2008.
 
Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee seeking money for Madoff victims, has filed lawsuits seeking tens of billions of dollars from companies and individuals he believes benefited from or aided in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
 
No excuses
 
Among the defendants in these cases is JPMorgan Chase & Co, long Madoff's principal banker and described by Picard as "thoroughly complicit" in the Ponzi scheme.
 
Other defendants include HSBC Holdings Plc, UBS AG, various "feeder funds" that steered money to Madoff, and the owners of the New York Mets baseball team.
 
A spokesman for Picard did not immediately return a request for comment. Picard declined to comment to the newspaper. He has recovered about $10 billion for victims so far.
 
Stephen Cutler, JPMorgan's general counsel, at a presentation on Tuesday said Picard "overreached" in his $6.4 billion lawsuit against the bank, and that JPMorgan "did not know about or in any way participate in the fraud."
 
In the Times interview, conducted in conjunction with a forthcoming book, Madoff acknowledged his guilt and said nothing could excuse his crimes.
 
He did not assert that any specific bank or hedge fund knew about or was an accomplice in his Ponzi scheme, which Picard said cost investors more than $20 billion.
 
Mets executives didn't know, Madoff says
 
But in a Dec. 19 email cited in the Times article, Madoff said he had been providing Picard with "information I knew would be instrumental in recovering assets from those people complicit in the mess I put myself into."
 
Then, 10 days later, he said "the banks and funds were complicit in one form or another and my information to Picard when he was here established this."
 
As to Mets principals Fred Wilpon and his brother-in-law Saul Katz, Madoff said: "They knew nothing. They knew nothing."
 
In the Dec. 19 email, Madoff also said he had not shared his information with federal prosecutors working on criminal cases related to the fraud.
 
Eight people have been criminally charged. Madoff, his right hand man Frank DiPascali, and an outside accountant have pleaded guilty. Five, all of whom used to work for Madoff, have pleaded not guilty.
 
Madoff also told the Times he never thought the collapse of his Ponzi scheme would cause the kind of fallout that has befallen his family.
 
Picard has filed lawsuits against Madoff's wife, Ruth, that could bankrupt her, while Madoff's son Mark committed suicide on Dec. 11, 2010, two years after the Ponzi scheme was revealed.
 
Madoff said prison officials would not let him attend his son's funeral, saying it could pose a "public safety issue." He later said it would be "cruel" to put his family through what could be a "media circus" were he to attend.

Date created : 2011-02-16

COMMENT(S)