Madoff Family Targeted in $30 Million Lawsuit

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee who has been working to recover the billions of dollars lost in the historic <"">Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, has just filed three lawsuits, said The Associated Press (AP).

Madoff, 72, pleaded guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. He has long maintained that he acted alone and no one—no family members, friends, or colleagues—were aware of his fraud. Madoff is now spending 150 years in prison for orchestrating the massive scam that is estimated to have cost duped investors an incomprehensible $65 billion.

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities is the investment firm that served as a ”front” for the scam, noted CNN previously.

Picard filed the recent lawsuits in an attempt to recoup over $30 million that he alleges the Madoff family invested—primarily in oil and gas properties and technology companies—said the AP. The lawsuits were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan by Irving Picard and follow another lawsuit he filed in November, said the AP. The November filing seeks about $200 million from Madoff family members who, Picard said “lived lavishly while using the family finance business like a ‘piggy bank,’” wrote the AP.

According to the AP, Picard wrote a so-called sarcastic statement regarding the recent lawsuits describing the shamed financier as being “quite generous” with the funds he took from thousands. “Foremost among the recipients of Madoff’s gifts of customer funds were his closest family members, including his wife Ruth Madoff, his brother Peter, his two sons Andrew and Mark and his niece Shana,” Picard said, quoted the AP.

The AP said that defendants named in the lawsuits include Madoff Energy Holdings LLC, Conglomerate Gas Resources, Madoff Technologies, Madoff Brokerage & Trading Technology LLC, Primex Holdings LLC and Madoff Family LLC. According to Picard, said the AP, the entities were controlled by Madoff family members, many of whom were Madoff employees.

The lawsuits seek over $22 million that was invested in technology companies, over $5 million invested in oil and gas properties, and $3 million from the Madoff Family Fund that also included hedge fund and a biotechnology company investments, noted the AP. According to the filings, the investments were allegedly used to move money from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, said the AP. The lawsuits also allege that Madoff’s business investment arm issued statements as far back as December 2008 for some 4,900 open customer accounts and were claimed to have been valued at $68 billion, said the AP. In truth, all but $20 billion were lost by Madoff, said the lawsuit, wrote the AP.

Since news broke of Madoff’s scheme, the SEC has been faulted for failing to detect the historic fraud since 1992 and for not fully going after tips, having inexperienced staff handle reviews, not looking into unbelievable and sustained profits, not pushing when Madoff was clearly caught in lies, and not pursuing trading records that would have pointed them to the scam.

The disgraced financier apologized at his sentencing in June for lying to thousands of investors and deceiving his wife, brother, and sons.

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