Directors of Bernard Madoff’s European operation, based in London, have been cleared in a civil claim brought by the company’s liquidators. The claim, which sought to establish liability of the directors of London-based Madoff Securities International Ltd (MSIL), which included Madoff’s sons Mark and Andrew, the former of whom committed suicide in 2010, as well as Stephen Raven, chief executive of the British unit, and Bank Medici founder Sonja Kohn. The case was dismissed by a High Court Judge on Friday, with the directors being cleared of any breach of duty.
The directors of Madoff Securities were accused of allowing millions of pounds to be transferred into their account by Bernard Madoff. Liquidators had been seeking to recover $50 million, which included payments for a luxury yacht and an Aston Martin.
Judge Andrew Popwell criticised the nature of the pursuit of the ’unfounded claim’, before going on to praise the dignity and restraint shown by the directors of Madoff Securities during the six week trial. He commented: “Madoff’s fraud itself blighted their lives and tainted their good names simply by association, quite apart from the financial losses suffered by some from investments in the Ponzi scheme.”
Bernard Madoff, 75, is serving a 150-year sentence in the U.S. for what prosecutors have called the biggest Ponzi scheme in the country’s history. A reported total of $17 billion was lost by victims to the investment fraud.
The exoneration of the Directors of the London-based firm comes as five former employees of Bernard Madoff’s US operation are on trial in New York; accused of aiding the fraudster.
The lawyer representing the Madoff brothers commented: “Mark and Andrew Madoff were honest directors who knew nothing of their father’s fraud. Andrew Madoff and his family are pleased that, after a thorough review of all the facts, justice has been served.”
As a specialist forensic accountancy practice, Frenkels Forensics are often called upon to assist in the preparation of evidence in large-scale fraud cases, such as the case against the Directors of Madoff Securities. To learn more about our forensic accountancy services in the areas of criminal defence and fraud investigations, do not hesitate to contact us.