The Daily Beast reports that Madoff friends and family members withdrew $735 million from Madoff Investments in the 90 days before the Ponzi fellow confessed all, leading that trustee, Irving Picard, to suspect that Bernie wasn’t the only person who knew about the fraud. So he’s sent out claw back letters to those active customers.
The timing of those withdrawals prompted Irving Picard, the bankruptcy trustee, to send “clawback letters” in mid-April to 223 people among the more than 8,000 investors who had accounts with Madoff. What this shows is that the bankruptcy trustee is not randomly trying to recover money from every Madoff investor—he’s looking for people who may be culpable.
“If you were a close relative of Bernie or Ruth, you got a letter,” said David Sheehan, who is a leader of Picard’s legal team at Baker, Hostetler.
In an exclusive joint interview with The Daily Beast, Sheehan and Picard explained that the clawback letters asked for a return of the cash and an explanation of why the withdrawals occurred. “People who got the letter are in one way or another” related to people somehow linked to Madoff’s investment advisory service, said Sheehan.
The rapid pace of withdrawals in the three months prior to Madoff’s arrest Dec. 11, 2008, “raised our level of concern that the monies were paid purposefully,” said Sheehan.
Well yes, I guess it would. Then, for Walter fans, there’s this:
Picard and Sheehan also said they expect to file more lawsuits this week seeking recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the major money managers who had billions of dollars invested with Madoff. The bankruptcy trustee is clearly not buying the argument that the money managers are victims, too.
Among those in Picard’s sights, but not yet sued: the Fairfield Greenwich group, which lost $7.5 billion with Madoff; Tremont Group Holdings, which dropped more than $3 billion; and Maxam Capital, a $280 million loser.