Madoff Trustee Irving Picard plans to file suit this week against Bernie Madoff’s brother and his two sons for $198 million, saying they should have known about the massive Ponzi scheme.
Picard and his chief counsel, David Sheehan, sat down for an interview with Morley Safer of 60 Minutes in which they discussed Ruth Madoff’s current budget, if Picard thinks there is money hidden somewhere (he does), and how the victims should be compensated (If someone took out more than they put in, he’s been “overpaid,” Sheehan said.)
Neither Madoff’s brother Peter, nor his sons Mark and Andrew have been charged criminally, but Picard plans to file civil suits against them for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
CBS News: “Of all the people that should have known, his brother and his sons who worked under the same roof with him, should have known,” Safer noted.
“One would think so,” Picard said.
Asked if the brother and sons did know, Sheehan said, “My belief is, yes, they knew. And the reason I believe that is they were officers of this, of these companies, and directors in certain instances as well, and also compliance officers in a very highly regulated environment. So, I think clearly they would have to have known what was going on given their own personal transactions, the longevity of what was happening, and the responsibilities as officers of the company.”
Madoff’s sons and brother also had accounts with Bernie, and their returns were simply spectacular. “There’s sort of an extraordinary event with Peter, his brother. After 1995, we only see him putting $14 in and he took out over $16 million. We have to take a hard look at that,” Sheehan explained.
And there’s Mark and Andrew Madoff, who Picard says withdrew over $35 million from accounts that were opened with little or no original investment.
“If they turn out to be untouchable criminally, do you intend to bankrupt them civilly?” Safer asked Picard.
“Whether or not they have a criminal problem, we will pursue them as far as we can pursue them. And if that leads to bankrupting them, then that’s what will happen,” he replied.
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