Ruth Madoff in Court Battle to Keep $70M

Lawyers argue wife's assets have nothing to do with scam
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2009 3:33 AM CST
This home in Palm Beach, Fla., is one of several belonging to disgraced investment guru Bernard Madoff and his wife, Ruth.   (AP Photo/Jon Way)
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(Newser) – Ruth Madoff is battling in court to hang onto $70 million in assets she claims have nothing to do with her husband's alleged $50 billion scam. Lawyers for the Madoffs are seeking to protect the assets—including $17 million in cash, $45 million in bonds, and the $7 million Manhattan apartment where Bernard Madoff is under house arrest—from seizure by prosecutors, Bloomberg reports.

Ruth Madoff—who agreed to a voluntary asset freeze in January—is the sole owne of the Upper East Side apartment and the other assets, her lawyers argued. A judge granted a request yesterday to lift the freeze on some of Bernie Madoff's assets, including his brokerage business, to clear the way for a sale to benefit bilked investors. The freeze on Madoff homes in New York and Florida was retained, however.