Judge bars Madoff asset transfer

Bloomberg News / April 21, 2009
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NEW YORK - The federal judge presiding over Bernard Madoff's criminal case blocked him and his wife Ruth from disposing of assets including their homes, investments, boats, and business ventures.

Separately, a bankruptcy judge yesterday put Madoff's personal assets under the control of a court-appointed trustee in an attempt to coordinate the collection and distribution of the convicted money manager's assets.

Ira Sorkin, a lawyer for Bernard Madoff, said in a court filing yesterday that the bankruptcy trustee won't be able to marshal assets that are now controlled by prosecutors. Assistant US Attorney Barbara Ward said in an April 17 legal brief made public yesterday that Madoffs property should be frozen by the criminal judge so it isn't in the bankruptcy estate.

"An interim trustee will be unable to marshal any assets," Sorkin said in a court filing.

Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty on March 12 to defrauding investors by using money from new ones to pay off old ones in a massive Ponzi scheme. Before the fraud came to light, Madoff told investors they had $65 billion in his firm's accounts, prosecutors said. Madoff, 70, is in custody awaiting sentencing in June. He faces as many as 150 years in prison.

Prosecutors have identified more than $100 million in real estate, cash, bonds, art, autos, boats, and other assets owned by Madoff and his wife, which the government said it will seize.

Madoff's seized assets

Madoff's seized assets

From yachts to mansions, see what prosecutors are eying.