Tag Archives: Ruth Madoff

But does she have a beach pass to Tod’s?

Happier days with the Sinowoys

Reader Magio writes:

Speaking of Weasels, I believe Ruth Madoff is hiding out at her son’s home on Tomac and Kernan Place in Old Greenwich.  I spotted a black Honda civic with Florida plates – this house has been empty for years and only recently did I notice someone living there.

UPDATE: Yup, she’s here. Check the readers’ comments – too many people who live in Old Greenwich have spotted her for this not to be true. Although I doubt she looks as she did in the photo above. forty years and recent ah, stress have aged her a bit.


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Ruth Madoff comes to Greenwich

But doesn’t get far. She came to attend her son Mark’s memorial service but was denied admission. Guess the survivors are still pissed.


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Bad news for the Noels of Greenwich and Mustique

Does Aida's still sell penny candy?

Does Aida's still sell penny candy?

Irving Picard, trustee of the Bernie Madoff estate, has persuaded a judge to put Ruth on a strict allowance and she must now report all expenditures over $100. By funny coincidence, Picard is suing Walter Noel on the same legal theory of unjust enrichment and imagine the disruption to the Noel family if the same limits are imposed on them. How will Walter pay his greens fees? (I think Greenwich’s municipal course falls under the spending threshold, but can Walter even find the place?). How utterly degrading to have to ask that horrible man Irving for permission to jet off to Mustique. Or the Hamptons, for heaven’s sake – no helicopter flight across the Sound can possibly be had for such a paltry sum.

Of course none of this has happened to the Noels, yet. But if she were wise, Monica might want to stock up on must-haves now, while her credit card still works and Picard is busy ruining what’s left of Ruth Madoff’s life. Pre pay the Round Hill dues, for instance, book flights for the Thanksgiving holidays to your villa and, just in case, get that Viagra prescription filled for Walt – I can just imagine the glee with which Picard would turn that down. How the mighty have fallen, so to speak.


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Well, there’s always NoPo, here in Greenwich

Turns out Ruthie Madoff may not be permitted to buy that one bedroom in Spanish Harlem (or whatever the hell you want to call it – the area that isn’t the East Side) after all: Madoff Trustee Irving Picard is suing the bitch for the $2.3 million the feds let her keep, claiming (d’oh) that she was in on the scheme the whole time. I’m all for it – leave her homeless and on the street, but if she wants a step up from that and maybe has some of Bernie’s old watches she can sell, or Madoff Investments paraphernalia, I’d suggest she look into what I used to call Pelenopor but which a reader has beautifully named NoPo – North of Post Road, of course. We got stuff here at prices that’ll knock your socks off, Ruthie. And if you can’t swing that, there’s always Chickahominy.

UPDATE: Here’s more on the suit from The Wall Street Journal. The Trustee’s looking for $44 million, claiming that regardless of whether Ruth knew about or participated in the scam, she benefited from it and lived “a life of luxury” on the proceeds. This theory should cause Walter, Monica and all the filly(ie)s sleepless nights because the Noel clan is, at best, in no better position than Ruth Madoff. Just like her, they say that they knew nothing and who can blame them for living large? But if  living a life f luxury on stolen proceeds is the test for restitution, do Round Hill cottages, villa’s in Mustique and $30 million yachts qualify? Why yes, I believe they do. Oh uh, Walt. Go, Irving!


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Add another to the homeless count

Maris Noel Brown has gone to contract on her New York apartment. I hope that, unlike Ruth Madoff, she can take her chinchilla with her.


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Madoff feeder funds subject to criminal investigation

With Bernie put away for good and Ruthie out on the street (without her fur coat) prosecutors are turning their attention to the feeder funds that made so much off of Bernie while their clients earned so little. Today it’s former penny-stock fraudster Sonja Kohn and her Austrian operation with the deceiving name of Bank Medici (Kohn is no Medici and barely a banker), but the allegations: $20 million payments for “research” and still more payments for funneling investors into the Madoff maw  sounds like what might turn up during an investigation of Fairfield Greenwich Group. I have every hope that that investigation is proceeding as I write this.

As for the remnants of the Madoff family, a source tells me that he spoke with one of the boys and the two of them are convinced their lives are over and they’re facing a life of destitution. For what it’s worth, this source believes the boys were just doofs who play acted at running Daddy’s business and never learned or even questioned how it was that they could get so rich when their company turned no profits. Oh well, that’s too bad, but I’ll reserve my sympathy for more deserving victims.

Here’s what prosecutors are looking at in Austria:

U.S., U.K. and Austrian prosecutors are investigating a former Austrian fund manager they believe was paid more than $40 million in kickbacks to funnel billions of dollars of investments to Bernard Madoff.

Prosecutors from all three investigations believe Mr. Madoff paid kickbacks to Sonja Kohn while she was chairwoman of Austria’s Bank Medici AG via separate companies she controlled, according to affidavits detailing the investigations and hundreds of documents collected by Austrian prosecutors that were reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In exchange for the kickbacks, prosecutors allege, Ms. Kohn turned three Bank Medici funds into “feeder funds” that supplied Mr. Madoff with an estimated $3.5 billion from European investors
The three investigations, which are separate and at an early stage, offer a picture of how Mr. Madoff may have persuaded fund managers abroad to find investors for Mr. Madoff. The investigations don’t claim that Ms. Kohn knew the nature of Mr. Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

“I am actually the greatest Madoff victim. It is a tragedy for my family, my company and for me personally,” Ms. Kohn said by phone on Wednesday. She declined to discuss details of the allegations against her.

Ms. Kohn, a 60-year-old Viennese former Wall Street penny-stock broker, has repeatedly denied prior knowledge of Mr. Madoff’s $65 billion fraud or any wrongdoing. A judge sentenced Mr. Madoff to 150 years in prison on Monday.

According to an April affidavit from the Justice Department filed with Vienna prosecutors, Ms. Kohn is under investigation in the U.S. for potential criminal charges of conspiracy, fraud and wire fraud in connection with the alleged kickbacks.

Regulators have filed civil, but not criminal, charges against several fund managers who steered their clients’ money to the Madoff firm.

Two streams of alleged payments are under investigation. Early this year, U.S. investigators noticed a flow of payments totaling about $32 million over 10 years from Mr. Madoff’s advisory firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, to Infovaleur Inc., a New York company that was “owned by Sonja Kohn personally,” according to a U.S. affidavit filed on April 6.

The U.S. affidavit said U.S. prosecutors were unable to locate a registration for Infovaleur Inc.

“It does not appear that Kohn, or Bank Medici, ever disclosed to investors in the feeder fund that Kohn was personally receiving payments from Madoff at the same time as she was investing the feeder funds with [Mr. Madoff’s fund],” the affidavit says. Mr. Madoff was “actually in full control” of Bank Medici’s investments, according to the affidavit.

Prospectuses for the Bank Medici funds that Ms. Kohn oversaw claimed they were investing in a basket of 35 to 50 Standard & Poor’s 100-stock index shares, as well as in U.S. Treasurys, the affidavit says.

The prospectuses didn’t mention Mr. Madoff or his company, when in fact all of the funds’ money was being forwarded to Mr. Madoff, the affidavits say.

Meanwhile, Grant Thornton U.K. LLP, the accounting firm liquidating Mr. Madoff’s London-based unit, Madoff Securities International Ltd., discovered a bank receipt that triggered a U.K. investigation, according to a March 24 affidavit filed with Austrian prosecutors by the Serious Fraud Office, a U.K. government agency responsible for prosecuting complex fraud cases.

The bank receipt referenced a check that Madoff International paid to a company called Erko Inc. and which was deposited in a Vienna bank account, according to the U.K. affidavit.

The affidavit said the Serious Fraud Office had determined that both Erko and the bank account were controlled by Ms. Kohn. The fraud office also said in the affidavit it was unable to locate a registration for Erko.

The U.K. affidavit alleges that Mr. Madoff’s London subsidiary paid about £7 million ($11.5 million) over five years to Erko. A British prosecutor alleges in the document that Mr. Madoff attempted to hide payments to Ms. Kohn by “falsely” declaring them in his company accounts as payment for research reports.

“It is suspected that the research papers were completely worthless and that the reports were never in fact used by [Madoff Securities International] for business decisions,” the affidavit said.

The Serious Fraud Office is investigating Ms. Kohn in connection with potential criminal charges of money laundering and falsifying documents to receive kickbacks, according to the affidavit.

U.S. prosecutors say Mr. Madoff depended on feeder funds run by investment advisers such as Ms. Kohn to recruit the large numbers of new investors needed to sustain the fraud.


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A message for Monica

The Times reports that Ruth Madoff is a pariah in New York society now.

Ever since prosecutors accused Mr. Madoff, 71, in December of orchestrating a scheme that fleeced thousands of investors and foundations — including beloved charities, universities and the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel— Mrs. Madoff has been taking it on the chin. The reaction has been so negative compared with other wives in the same position partly, it seems, because her husband’s crimes grievously harmed individuals rather than a bank or faceless institution.

Her unusual closeness to her husband, too, in a world where wives are often on the sidelines is among the things working against her. Mrs. Madoff had been a director at her husband’s firm and had stood inseparably beside him through 49 years of marriage.

Then there is the lack of public contrition by Mrs. Madoff, and her move days before the scandal to shift $15.5 million out of an investment account and to transfer watches, cuff links and other jewelry to her children. One day after she left the Manhattan jail where her husband has been held, an ABC camera crew asked her what her message was to the victims. She said, “I have no response to you.”

Monica, clearly, you don’t want to be a Ruthie Ruth. Or the cheese that stands alone. When Walt gets put up in the Mews, expand your life – volunteer for something “Friends of Greenwich Point” has probably never heard of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, for instance. Those charities that have a “pay to play” policy, like the Boys and Girls Club or Bruce Museum won’t want you, but perhaps the Riverside Association can put you to work licking stamps. Don’t commit now, just think about it. After Walt’s tucked away in his Depends and bib will be time enough.


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