Madoff Had $173M in Checks for Friends, Relatives: Feds

Fraudster also transferred $160M to British firm as possible exit strategy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 1:14 PM CST
Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff, right, leaves US District Court in Manhattan after a bail hearing, Jan. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Investigators searching Bernard Madoff’s office found 100 signed checks worth $173 million, which the fraudster apparently sought to give to relatives, friends and key employees of his investment operation, the Wall Street Journal reports. This latest insight into the alleged Ponzi scheme emerged as federal prosecutors try to revoke Madoff’s bail and keep him from distributing assets that could be used to repay victims.

“The only thing that prevented the defendant from executing his plan was his arrest by the FBI on Dec. 11,” an assistant US attorney said. In another move that might have figured in a getaway scheme, Madoff in October 2007 transferred $160 million of his own money into a British investment firm he owned, Reuters adds.