U.S. signals it will seek to seize Ruth Madoff’s assets

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Federal prosecutors plan to go after assets held by Ruth Madoff, the wife of Ponzi scheme maestro Bernie Madoff.

From Bloomberg News:

More than $100 million in real estate, cash, bonds, art, autos, boats and other property owned by Bernard Madoff, who pleaded guilty last week to masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme in history, and his wife Ruth Madoff, is subject to forfeiture, prosecutors said. The government said in a court filing Sunday that it intends to seize assets including the Madoffs’ $7 million Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan and homes in Montauk, N.Y., Palm Beach, Fla., and France. Prosecutors will also seek $17 million in cash and $45 million in bonds in accounts in Ruth Madoff’s name, Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin said. Bernie Madoff, 70, pleaded guilty March 12 to defrauding investors of as much as $65 billion. The government’s ‘notice of intent to seek forfeiture’ is not an actual seizure request. Rather, it alerts U.S. District Judge Denny Chin and the Madoffs that prosecutors will be filing documents seeking seizure. The notice doesn’t say when the request will be made. Madoff’s appellate argument is scheduled for March 19. Ruth Madoff hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing. Her lawyer, Peter Chavkin, and Madoff’s lawyer, Dan Horwitz, both declined to comment.


-- Tom Petruno