Madoff client list peppered with big names

Reuters

Posted at Feb 06 2009 01:17 AM | Updated as of Feb 06 2009 09:17 AM

NEW YORK - Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax and World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein are among well-known people listed as customers of accused swindler Bernard Madoff, according to new court papers.

Among the thousands of others on the roster are US Sen. Frank Lautenberg, imprisoned class-action lawyer Melvyn Weiss, and Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, and his brother, Peter.

The 162-page document was filed late on Wednesday with the US Bankruptcy Court in New York as part of the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC by a court-appointed trustee to recover assets for defrauded customers.

In all, five lists were filed with the court, labeled Customers, Vendors, Employees, Brokers/Dealers and Other Parties.

The customer list contains names and addresses of individuals and institutions. No amounts of money were included in the lists. The lists were put together by AlixPartners LLP, a firm assisting the trustee in reviewing books and records.

One of Madoff's lawyers, Ira Lee Sorkin, is also named on the customer list.

Sorkin declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday on whether he had invested with Madoff.

"I've been told it's a client list and I've also been told it's a mailing list, so I think you need to check with the receiver or the trustee to determine whether these individuals are clients, customers, investors or just simply received mail," Sorkin said.

"My position from day one has been I will not discuss present clients or former clients," he said.

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which is examining Madoff customer claims, was not immediately available for comment. A representative of the trustee, Irving Picard, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Manhattan office of Madoff's firm was declared a crime scene after the 70-year-old investment manager was arrested on December 11. Madoff is accused in what authorities have described as the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid with money from new investors.

Among the financial institutions on the customer list are UBS AG, Bank of America Corp, BNP Paribas and Citigroup Inc.

Koufax was a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955 to 1966.

Silverstein, leaseholder on the World Trade Center twin towers when they were destroyed in the September 11 attacks, is building three office towers on the site in lower Manhattan.

At a bankruptcy court hearing on Wednesday, Picard said $946 million has been recovered so far from Madoff's firm. He said, however, that gaining access to the firm's computers and examining 7,000 unmarked boxes of documents stored in a warehouse was taking time.

The case is Securities Investor Protection Corp v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC 08-01789 in US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).