New York AG Andrew Cuomo has charged J. Ezra Merkin, a prominent New York philanthropist who funneled $2.4 billion into Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, with fraud, the Wall Street Journal reports. The complaint doesn’t accuse Merkin of knowing about the scheme. But it alleges that he lied to his clients, including many charities and universities, about how exposed they were to Madoff and failed to disclose his conflicts of interest—all while pocketing $470 million in fees.
“Merkin held himself out to investors as an investing guru,” says Cuomo. “In reality, Merkin was but a master marketer.”