Bernie Madoff: ‘The Banks Had To Know What I Was Doing’

Big banks had to know Bernie Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, according to Bernie Madoff. In an email penned from jail, one of the biggest Ponzi schemers in history told Fox Business Network that those responsible for recouping his victims’ money should keep going after the banks where he had accounts. “The Banks had to know what I was doing regarding the fraud,” Madoff wrote in the email. More in the Huffington Post [...]

Corzine ban faces uphill battle at futures regulator

A plan to ban Jon Corzine, the former chief executive of MF Global, from the futures industry for life for failing to protect the failed brokerage’s customers faces an uphill battle at a key industry regulator. Two newly elected members of the National Futures Association (NFA) board have proposed barring Corzine, the former New Jersey governor who led the broker when it failed in October 2011. The board is set to discuss the plan at a quarterly meeting in Chicago on Thursday. Other NFA officials are hesitating to back the motion out of fear it may interfere with a probe by another regulator, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). More on Reuters [...]

Bernie Madoff Says He Doesn’t Need ‘Credit’ for Helping Victims

Bernie Madoff said he does not need “credit” for helping recover money for victims of his Ponzi scheme, he just wished court-appointed trustee Irving Picard would tell the truth about what Madoff has claimed is his “instrumental” role in the process. Madoff sent yet another e-mail to me this week, after we reported on the flurry of e-mails he sent last week attacking Picard. The dustup follows our exclusive interview with Picard and his chief counsel David Sheehan in which Picard said Madoff has “not been helpful” in the recovery of more than $9 billion. Read CNBC report [...]

MF Global payout plan approved for creditor vote

A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the outline of a plan by liquidators and creditors of failed brokerage MF Global to repay the company’s creditors, a key step toward ending its $40 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Judge Martin Glenn green-lighted the outline, which was amended to address minor concerns Glenn had raised in refusing to approve an earlier version of the outline last week. MF Global, which had been led by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, is liquidating after declaring bankruptcy in October 2011. Investors ran for the hills after the company revealed exposure to risky European sovereign debt. More on Reuters [...]

Lautenberg charity, others lose bid to revive Madoff claims

A federal appeals court rejected a bid by former Bernard Madoff investors, including a charitable foundation for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, to pursue claims against family members of the imprisoned swindler. The Lautenberg Foundation, the town of Fairfield, Connecticut, and other investors had sought to pursue claims against Madoff’s brother Peter, as well as Madoff’s son Andrew and the estate of his late son, Mark.
More on Reuters [...]

Citigroup-SEC: Why we need a trial

Do you think you would be ticketed for speeding while your mayor would get off scot-free? The ability of the powerful to skirt justice is a common theme in politics and business. And an appeals court will soon rule whether the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup (C) will get to exercise this unsavory tradition. It all began when the SEC accused Citigroup of misleading customers into purchasing mortgage securities. The financial giant wants to pay $285 million to settle the SEC’s charges, without admitting or denying wrongdoing. The SEC accepted this settlement. But federal judge Jed Rakoff rejected it, writing on November 28, 2011 that “there is little real doubt that Citigroup contests the factual allegations of the [SEC's] Complaint.” See CNN Money report [...]

Stanford Investors Sue Antigua, Caribbean Central Bank

R. Allen Stanford’s receiver and investors’ committee sued Antigua, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and 23 former Stanford Financial Group Co. executives over allegations they aided the financier’s $7 billion fraud. The Official Stanford Investors Committee seeks repayment of at least $90 million in documented loans Stanford made to the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda and accuses its elected officials of having been “Stanford’s partners in crime.” The nation’s leaders shielded Stanford’s scheme and traded choice real estate for as much as $230 million in loans that haven’t been repaid, according to the lawsuit. More on Bloomberg [...]

Ex-Stanford Executives Get 20-Year Sentences

Two former Stanford Financial Group executives were each sentenced to 20 years in prison for aiding convicted financier Robert Allen Stanford in perpetuating a massive Ponzi scheme, the Department of Justice said. Gilbert T. Lopez Jr., former chief accounting officer of Stanford Financial Group Co., and Mark J. Kuhrt, former global controller of Stanford Financial Group Global Management, were convicted by a Houston federal jury in November of last year. The men, both from Houston, were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, the DOJ said. More in the Wall Street Journal [...]

Protection in a post-MF Global world

The farmers and investors who lost money when MF Global Inc.’s leadership skimmed off client funds to retain market positions are a big step closer to seeing the vast majority of those dollars returned. An MF Global liquidation hearing late last month dictated that 93% of original funds will likely be returned to “U.S. futures and options customers,” according to a report this week from University of Illinois ag economist Paul Peterson. Those who invested in the form of stocks and bonds will recover all their losses, as they were covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). More on [...]

‘Frustrated’ Madoff Now Second-Guessing His Guilty Plea

Bernie Madoff says he is frustrated. Writing to me from the federal prison where he is serving a life sentence for his epic fraud, Madoff said he is not getting credit for what he calls his “instrumental” role in returning money to his victims. Madoff wrote that he is so frustrated, he is having second thoughts about having pleaded guilty four years ago. See CNBC report [...]