The Madoff trail is shifting, at least in part, across the Atlantic. And investigators are wondering whether the Ponzi scheme was a family affair.
A report from the Wall Street Journal’s London bureau contains three important new pieces of information.
1) “U.K. authorities investigating Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme believe criminal offences have been committed by people other than the New York financier and expect to start filing charges within months, according to investigators.”
2) “Mr. Madoff’s U.K. operations ‘played a significant role in the operation’ of Mr. Madoff’s scheme, said Glyn Powell, a case controller at U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office, which opened a criminal investigation into Mr. Madoff’s U.K. business earlier this year.”
3. “The SFO also said Ruth Madoff received two million of dollars in payments from Mr. Madoff’s U.K. business in late November, just weeks before he was arrested.”
The Journal adds that the British probe is focused on large amounts of money that went back and forth between Madoff’s accounts in the U.S. and U.K.
American prosecutors have already charged that Madoff laundered clients’ money through the London operation. Says the Journal:
He carried out the fraud, authorities said, by transferring client money from the investment-advisory business in New York to London and then back to the U.S. to support the U.S. trading operation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
So far, only Madoff has been charged in the scheme. (He pleaded guilty earlier this month, and awaits sentencing.) But there has been intense speculation that additional charges could be filed against family members and associates, including Ruth Madoff and Peter Madoff, Bernard Madoff’s brother.
As we noted yesterday, a law student who invested, and lost, money with Peter Madoff has filed a lawsuit against him, claiming that he knew or should have known that the Bernard Madoff operation, where the money was invested and lost, was fraudulent.