Friday, October 30, 2009

How many of Madoff's "victims" were actually part of the fraud?

(Forward) -- When billionaire Madoff investor Jeffry Picower was found dead at the bottom of the swimming pool at his oceanfront estate in Palm Beach, Fla., on October 25, he left behind lingering questions about the nature of Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Could Madoff have pulled off the massive fraud on his own, or were others aware of, and even complicit with, the record-breaking scam? While only Madoff and his accountant have faced criminal charges in the affair, few believe that they acted alone. Picower, who allegedly withdrew at least $5 billion in profits from Madoff accounts, was the subject of a civil suit brought by the trustee of the Madoff bankruptcy, claiming that he “knew or should have known” that Madoff’s operations were fraudulent. An autopsy found that Picower drowned following a massive heart attack. The lawsuit against Picower will continue, according to Irving Picard, the Madoff bankruptcy trustee. With Picower’s death, however, no one will have the chance to question him under oath...During the immediate fallout from the fraud in December 2008, Picower and his family were perceived to be among the hardest-hit victims of the scandal...Rather than being an unwitting beneficiary of Madoff’s misdeeds, Picard alleges that Picower “knew or should have known” that he was profiting from a fraud...cont'd...LINK

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