Revealing list of Madoff clients released

February 5, 2009 3:32:33 PM PST
Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Broadcaster Larry King. World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein. All three have at least one thing in common: Their names appear on a list of several thousand clients of disgraced financial wizard Bernard Madoff. The list has been made public in a court filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

PDF: See the full list here.

The list emerged late Wednesday, testament to the sweeping nature of Madoff's alleged fraud. The 162-page list includes Madoff's relatives, prominent business people, celebrities, and charitable institutions. Each page carries 84 single-spaced lines. Some customers are listed multiple times, presumably because they had multiple accounts.

The list does not say how much money the customers may have lost, nor does it spell out their specific connection to Madoff.

The list, compiled for a court-appointed trustee in the Madoff case, includes thousands of people and entities listed in the money manager's records as account holders during the 12-month period leading up to his arrest in December. It also includes scores of others who called an investor hotline set up by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. While many of those listed likely lost money with Madoff, it is not clear that all of those on the list were victims, or that all of the victims have been identified.

Many of the people who lost money with Madoff did so through investment "feeder" funds, who turned that money over to the New York money manager. Their names would not have been listed individually in Madoff's books, and would only be included in the court's list if they have stepped forward to make claims.

The client list was released shortly after a whistleblower in the case, Harry Markopolos, told House lawmakers at a hearing that he had discovered that additional funds had relayed investments to Madoff in Europe - and that the managers of these "feeder" funds may have ignored signs of the massive fraud scheme.

He plans to present his findings to the Securities and Exchange Commission's inspector general Thursday. If proven, they would substantiate the assertions of many analysts that the alleged fraud was far too large for Madoff to have conducted alone.

House lawmakers on Wednesday also sparred with SEC officials, accusing them of impeding their probe into how the agency failed to uncover the alleged fraud.

Prosecutors say Madoff admits he lost more than $50 billion belonging to investors. Defense lawyers say he has cooperated with authorities to help identify assets.

The customers include prominent people and institutions that already had been publicly revealed, such as the Wilpon family, owner of the New York Mets.

Also listed were more than two dozen accounts involving the Mets and companies affiliated with their owners were listed, many with addresses at Shea Stadium. New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg is also on the list.

Silverstein held the lease to the trade center's office space when it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, and is building three office towers to replace it. His spokesman, Bud Perrone, said in a statement Thursday:

"Losses incurred by Larry Silverstein and his family absolutely pale in comparison to those innocent investors who lost their life savings as a result of this scheme."

Others listed in the document include Madoff's wife, sons, brother and other relatives.

Another is Ira Sorkin, the attorney who's defending Madoff against charges he perpetrated the biggest financial fraud in history.

But Sorkin said he did not lose money in the scandal. "I have never ever at any time been a customer, investor, client or had any beneficial interest in any account at Bernard L. Madoff securities," he said. It's not exactly clear how he ended up on the list.

King's spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said the CNN host suffered "not substantial losses." Rubenstein declined to answer further questions on King's investments with Madoff.

Other big names who previously disclosed losing money to Madoff were not on the list, including actor Kevin Bacon.

The list was compiled by AlixPartners LLP, a Dallas company hired as claims agent by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Madoff hasn't been indicted. He's being held under house arrest at his multimillion-dollar penthouse.


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