Press Releases


Peter Madoff, Former Chief Compliance Officer And Senior Managing Director At Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Llc, Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 10 Years In Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 20, 2012

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that PETER MADOFF, the former Chief Compliance Officer and Senior Managing Director of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (“BLMIS”), was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for crimes stemming from a two-count Superseding Information to which he pled guilty that charged him with, among other things, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, tax fraud, mail fraud, ERISA fraud and falsifying records of an investment adviser. The overt acts in the conspiracy count also included, among other things, making false statements to investors about BLMIS’s compliance program and the nature and scope of its Investment Advisory business. MADOFF pled guilty in June 2012. He was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Peter Madoff was a gatekeeper, who was supposed to guard against fraud, but instead enabled it – facilitating his brother Bernie's breathtaking scheme by falsifying compliance records and lying to both regulators and clients of BLMIS. The decade he will spend in prison and the disgorgement of his assets are a just result. Our efforts to hold to account anyone and everyone who played a role in this unprecedented Ponzi scheme continue.”

According to the Superseding Information to which MADOFF pled guilty and other court filings:

MADOFF was employed at BLMIS from 1965 through December 2008. Beginning in 1969, he became the Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”) and Senior Managing Director of BLMIS. In his role as CCO, MADOFF created false and misleading BLMIS compliance documents, as well as false reports that were filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that materially misstated the nature and scope of BLMIS’s Investment Advisory (“IA”) business.

Specifically, in his capacity as CCO, MADOFF created numerous false compliance documents in which he stated that he had performed compliance reviews of the trading in the BLMIS IA business on a regular basis, when in reality, the reviews were never performed. The false statements were designed to mislead regulators, auditors, and IA clients.

Further, in August 2006, BLMIS registered as an investment adviser with the SEC. As a registered investment adviser, on at least an annual basis, BLMIS was required to file forms with the SEC that are used as part of the oversight process of investment advisers. Madoff was integrally involved with both the SEC registration process and in the creation of the forms, known as “Forms ADV,” which were materially false and misleading. The numerous false statements in the Forms ADV created the false appearance that BLMIS’s IA business had a small number of highly sophisticated clients and far fewer assets under management than was actually the case. MADOFF also misrepresented that he, as CCO, ensured that reviews of the IA trading were being performed.

In addition, from 1998 through 2008, MADOFF engaged in a tax fraud scheme involving the transfer of wealth within the Madoff family in ways that allowed him to avoid paying millions of dollars in required taxes to the IRS. Most, if not all of the “wealth,” came directly or indirectly from IA client funds held at BLMIS. The schemes in which he engaged also allowed Bernard L. Madoff to evade his tax obligations. The methods by which MADOFF engaged in tax fraud included the following:

  • MADOFF received approximately $15,700,000 from Bernard L. Madoff and his wife, and executed sham promissory notes to make it appear that the transfers were loans, in order to avoid paying taxes;
  • MADOFF gave approximately $9,900,000 to family members, and in order to avoid paying taxes, executed sham promissory notes to make it appear that the transfers of these funds were loans;
  • MADOFF did not pay taxes on approximately $7,750,000 that he received from BLMIS;
  • MADOFF received approximately $16,800,000 from Bernard L. Madoff from two sham trades, and disguised the proceeds of the trades as long-term stock transactions in order to take advantage of the lower tax rate for long-term capital gains;
  • MADOFF charged approximately $175,000 in personal expenses to a corporate American Express card and did not report those expenses as income.

MADOFF also arranged for his wife to have a “no-show” job at BLMIS from which she received between approximately $100,000 to $160,000 per year in salary, a 401(k), and health benefits to which she was not entitled.

In December 2008, when the collapse of BLMIS was virtually certain, MADOFF agreed with others to send the $300 million that remained in the IA accounts to preferred employees, family members and friends. BLMIS collapsed before the funds were ever disbursed. On December 10, 2008, one day prior to BLMIS’s collapse, MADOFF also withdrew $200,000 from BLMIS for his personal use.

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In addition to the prison term, Judge Swain sentenced MADOFF, 67, of Old Westbury, NY, to one year of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $200 special assessment. MADOFF was also ordered to forfeit $143.1 billion, including all of his real and personal property. This amount represents all of the investor funds paid into BLMIS from 1996 - the start of MADOFF’s involvement in the conspiracy - through December 2008.

As part of the defendant’s forfeiture, the Government previously entered into a settlement with MADOFF’s family that requires the forfeiture of all of his wife Marion’s and daughter Shana’s assets, and assets belonging to other family members. The surrendered assets include, among other things, several homes, a Ferrari and more than $10 million in cash and securities. Marion Madoff was left with approximately $771,733 to live on for the rest of her life.

Update on the Victim Compensation Process

In connection with the victim compensation process, this week the Government filed a motion requesting that the Court find restitution to be impracticable, thereby permitting the Government to distribute to victims the assets forfeited by PETER MADOFF through the remission process in accordance with Department of Justice regulations. A similar motion was granted by United States Circuit Judge Denny Chin, who as a United States District Judge sentenced Bernard L. Madoff in 2009. The Department of Justice intends to return the assets forfeited as a result of the Madoff fraud to victims through the remission process.

This week, Richard C. Breeden was retained to serve as Special Master on behalf of the Department of Justice to administer the process of compensating the victims of the Madoff fraud with the forfeited funds. A former chairman of the SEC, Mr. Breeden is Chairman of Richard C. Breeden & Co., which has been involved in (among other things) the administration and distribution of securities fraud claims since 1996. Among other things, Mr. Breeden has served as Corporate Monitor of WorldCom, Inc. and KPMG under its deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Mr. Breeden also served as remission special master in connection with the fraud committed through Adelphia Communications Corporation. In April 2012, more than $728 million forfeited in connection with this Office’s investigation and prosecution of the Adelphia fraud was distributed to approximately 8,500 victims, the largest single distribution of forfeited assets to victims in Department of Justice history.

Now that a new Special Master has been retained, and given the pledge of SIPC Trustee Irving Picard and his counsel to lend their support and resources to the new Special Master for the benefit of the fraud victims, we expect the victim claims process to begin shortly. It is anticipated that victims who filed claims in the SIPA proceeding will not have to refile their claims to be eligible for remission. New information about the remission Special Master, and information about the victim claims process, will be posted on the Office’s Madoff website (http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys/vw_cases/madoff.html) as soon as it becomes available, along with a link to a dedicated website Mr. Breeden’s firm will establish in connection with the remission proceedings. We remain strongly committed to facilitating the remission of funds to the victims of Madoff’s fraud at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration for their assistance.

These cases were brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, on which Mr. Bharara serves as a Co-Chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

The case is being handled by the Office's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa A. Baroni, Julian J. Moore, Matthew L. Schwartz, Arlo Devlin-Brown and Barbara A. Ward are in charge of the prosecution.

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