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Posts Tagged ‘Madoff’s Ponzi scheme’

Prosecutors target assets of Madoff’s wife

Federal prosecutors in New York and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are preparing to file a legal action against Ruth Madoff, wife of jailed fraudster Bernie, amid fears that she will try to flee the United States or move her $70m fortune beyond their reach.

Department of Justice sources told the Observer that prosecutors were “working around the clock” to build a criminal complaint against Mrs Madoff in an effort to ask a judge to freeze her bank accounts, which they believe are filled with the proceeds of her husband’s crimes.

The SEC, America’s top financial regulator, is understood to be liaising with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York to help prepare the asset freezing order.

“What will happen,” one SEC source said, “is that the US attorneys will be in court in the next week or so to tell a judge that they believe Mrs Madoff’s assets are derived from ill-gotten gains and that they should be frozen for a certain period of time while the investigation is ongoing.”

The judge will then decide whether there is sufficient reason to believe Mrs Madoff’s assets were the proceeds of her husband’s $64bn Ponzi scheme.

After Madoff confessed his crimes to the FBI on 11 December, the Department of Justice moved quickly to file a criminal complaint against him while the SEC issued an order to freeze his assets. SEC sources indicated that Mrs Madoff would soon experience something similar.

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