Investigators are turning their focus to some of Bernie Madoff’s largest “victims”, as evidence piles up that they must’ve known fraud was at hand.
The damning part: Some would specifically request a certain level of returns in advance.
Among the names being looked at include Carl Shapiro, Robert Jaffe, Stanley Chais, Jeffry Picower and his longtime, original feeder Frank Avellino, the man who told his housekeeper that she’d lost all her money, 10 days before the Madoff bust occurred.
WSJ: Mr. Picower, who lives in Palm Beach, Fla., and Manhattan, is a lawyer, accountant and investor who led buyouts of health-care and technology companies. Mr. Picower’s foundation, heavily invested with Mr. Madoff, at one point stated its investment portfolio was valued at nearly $1 billion.
Mr. Picower and his wife, Barbara, had two dozen accounts with Mr. Madoff and received annual returns of more than 100% in 14 instances, reaching as high as 950%, Mr. Picard alleged.
Correspondence between Mr. Picower or one of his employees and the Madoff firm suggests complicity, Mr. Picard alleged. In May 2007, for example, a foundation employee named April Freilich requested gains on Mr. Picower’s behalf, according to the suit. The Madoff firm then recorded purported trades in his account as having occurred in January and February 2006, according to the lawsuit. That and similar moves in May 2007 netted Mr. Picower $55 million in fictitious gains, the suit alleged. Read the whole thing >