Madoff's Little Helpers

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Hooray, Bernie is off for life!

But angry victims won’t be stopping there. There’s a wide circle of people who may have known about the scam, or should have at least known better.

Victims are happy for today, but tomorrow they’ll be looking for blood from Madoff’s minions and enablers.  Like these guys!

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David Friehling

Connection to Madoff: Auditor of Bernard Madoff Investment Securities

Prosecution: Sued for securities fraud, aiding and abetting investment adviser fraud, four counts of filing false audit reports, and civil fraud. Friehling faces up to 105 years of jail time.

Background: Madoff's firm was audited by Friehling & Horowitz, an obscure accounting office in New York's northern suburbs. Jerome Horowitz was handling Madoff's paperwork for years before retiring and leaving the business to his son-in-law -- David Friehling -- in the early 1990s. The firm was not registered at any of the peer-review audit programs that monitor accounting quality and help detect fraud.

Robert Jaffe

Connection to Madoff: Feeder and private investor

Prosecution: Sued for civil fraud by the SEC.

Background: Robert Jaffe promoted Madoff's fund to wealthy investors in Massachusetts and Florida. He is the vice-president of Cohmad Securities Corp, which is owned by Maurice 'Sonny' Cohn and his daughter Marcia -- two other alleged Madoff accomplices.

10 days before Bernie Madoff was arrested, Jaffe managed to convince his father-in-law, philanthropist Carl Shapiro, to invest some $250 million in the Ponzi.

Stanley Chais

Connection to Madoff: Feeder and private investor

Prosecution: Sued for civil fraud by the SEC.

Background: Stanley Chais, who managed the money of wealthy investors through Chais's Brighton Co., told Bernie he didn't want to see any losses on the funds he invested with Madoff Investment Securites. A lawsuit against Chais alleges that he 'knew or should have known' about the Ponzi when his family investments with Madoff averaged from 40% to 300% in returns. Allegedly, Chais and his family were primary beneficiaries of the scheme for some 30 years earning some $1 billion from their accounts since 1995 -- money that belonged to Madoff's victims.

Connection to Madoff: Feeder

Prosecution: Sued for civil fraud by the SEC.

Background: Cohmad Securities Corp. is a brokerage firm -- named after a combination of Cohn's and Madoff's last names -- that allegedly fuelled billions of dollars into the Madoff's fund and helped hide the Ponzi from authorities.

SEC has filed civil fraud charges against the firms co-founder Maurice 'Sonny' Cohn, and his daughter and Cohmad's president Marcia for enabling Madoff's fraud and recruiting clients by 'projecting a false aura of exclusivity and privilege' while they allegedly knew or had reasons to believe Madoff's operation was fraud.

Fairfield Greenwich Group

Connection to Madoff: Feeder

Prosecution: Sued by the Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth

Background: 'Everything I am, I owe to Bernie,' said Walter Noel, the founder of the family-run investment firm Fairfield Greenwich Group, which had invested some $4.5 billion of its clients money with Madoff. The Noels, who are famous for their jet-setting, flashy lifestyles, have amassed a $14 billion fortune.

Lawsuits seeking the fines and restitution for investors' losses from FGG have currently frozen the Noels' assets.

J. Ezra Merkin

Connection to Madoff: Feeder (via multiple funds)

Prosecution: Sued by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Background: Charged with steering billions into Madoff's Pozi, Erza Merkin -- once hailed as a Renaissance man by the Jewish community in New York -- had a far fall from grace.

He was forced to resign as president of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue, whose members lost over $1 billion in the scheme. He was pressured to give up his non-executive chairman seat at General Motors Financial Services (GMAC) at the insistance of the government. And, the numerous funds Merkin is part of -- Ascot Partners, Ariel Fund, and the Gabriel Capital Corp. among others -- are sued with multiple clients, including New York University and Mort Zuckerman, for knowingly investing their money in a Ponzi.

Carl Shapiro

Connection to Madoff: Private investor

Prosecution:
Under scrutiny by prosecutors

Background: Carl Shapiro considered Bernie to be like a son.

He invested between $100 million and $1 billion with Madoff ever since the 1960s. He was one of Bernie's oldest friends and one of the biggest financial backers. Shapiro gave Bernie some $250 million days before the Ponzi was revealed. He reportedly lost $550 million in the fraud.

Jeffry Picower

Connection to Madoff: Private investor

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Complaint, filed by the trustee in the Madoff Ponzi fraud case -- Irving Picard, says that private investor Jeffry Picower and his family withdrew $5.1 billion from Madoff in the last 13 years. Picower's accounts generated returns of more than 100% even though the Dow and S&P 500 largest surge was 31% for the same period.

Annette Bongiorno

Connection to Madoff: Secretary, handling investment accounts for older clients.

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Working as Madoff's personal secretary since the 1980s, Annette Bongiorno actively recruited investors from her neighbourhood in Queens along with her husband, an electrician. She also introduced Madoff to Frank DiPascali, who became a top executive at Bernie's firm.

During her time at Madoff's company, Bongiorno managed to acquire a home in Manhasset, on Long Island, valued at more than $2.6 million, a Boca Raton home at $1.25 million, and three cars -- including a $100,000 Mercedes Benz.

Frank DiPascali

Connection to Madoff: Top executive at Madoff Investment Securities

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Frank DiPascali ran the floor at Madoff Investment Securities. He had only a high-school education and was at the company for 33 years, although nobody seemed to know what his title was and what he actually did. DiPascali earned enough to buy several homes and support an expensive fishing hobby.

Peter Madoff

Connection to Madoff: Bernie's bother

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Being Bernie's brother has its privileges, including a company car for Peter to run errands -- a $235,000 Aston Martin paid by Madoff Securities.

Mark Madoff

Connection to Madoff: Bernie's son

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Mark Madoff worked on the market-making side of the business, and claims to have had no idea what was going on over at the investing side.

Andrew Madoff

Connection to Madoff: Bernie's son

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Like his brother, Andrew worked at the firm but claimed to have no idea what was happening on the money management side of the business.

Ruth Madoff

Connection to Madoff: Bernie's wife

Prosecution: Under scrutiny by prosecutors.

Background: Ruth has already given up most of her possession and money, but there are still some big outstanding questions about what and how much she knew about Bernie's fraud. There's been talk that she was involved in keeping books at the firm, and certain cash withdrawals/home transfers suggest she may not have been totally in the dark.

Frank Avellino & Michael Bienes

Connection to Madoff: They were Madoff's earliest feeders.

Prosecution: Of interest to prosecutors.

Background: Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes were raising money for Bernie Madoff from his earliest days. They were actually busted in the early 90s for illegal fundraising, but the SEC never ended up following the food chain. Since that time, it's appeared that both have continued raising money for Madoff.

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