Madoff's wife pulled out $15 million before his arrest
BOSTON (Reuters) - The wife of accused Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff pulled $15 million out of a brokerage account only days before her husband was arrested, Massachusetts' top securities regulator said on Wednesday.
Secretary of State William Galvin said Ruth Madoff withdrew $5.5 million on November 25 and $10 million on December 10 according to reports produced by Cohmad Securities, a firm co-owned by her husband.
Madoff is accused of masterminding a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. He was arrested and charged with securities fraud on December 11. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid with money from later investors.
For years, Cohmad Securities, partly owned by Madoff, received monthly payments from the financier for "professional services", "brokerage services" and "fees for account supervision," Galvin's office said.
The payments totaled $67 million and made up 84 percent of Cohmad's total income over the last eight years, the documents show.
Many Massachusetts residents who lost millions of dollars to Madoff told Galvin's office that they were introduced to the financier by Cohmad representatives, including Robert Jaffe. Jaffe had been a long-time friend of Madoff and relied on his deep roots in Boston to make the introductions. Recently Jaffe said he too was a victim of Madoff's fraud.
Cohmad, which is registered to act as broker in Massachusetts, also paid money to Sonja Kohn, who founded Austria's Bank Medici and had close ties to Madoff, the documents show.
Galvin is trying to suspend Cohmad's state license so that it can no longer act as a broker in Massachusetts.
Now we see the story starting to unravel. Bernie sent Ruth to hide a few shekels before he got himself arrested. Can you say, "Co-conspirator"?