$441 on bagels: credit card bill details Madoff family's largesse

Investigators reveal how convicted fraudster and his relatives ran up huge bills

Members of Bernard Madoff's family spent thousands of dollars buying clothes, jewellery and gourmet bagels on the Wall Street swindler's company credit card and could face legal action to recover the money.

Court filings by the team trying to recover assets for the thousands of victims of America's biggest fraud paint a picture of lavish spending not just by Madoff and his wife, Ruth, but also by other family members and business associates. Numerous family members were on the payroll and treated Madoff Investment Securities as a "personal piggy bank", the receiver said.

Yesterday, the man in charge of compensating victims said he was considering lawsuits against the beneficiaries of Madoff's largesse, even if they are not charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

The victims face a long wait to find out how much money they might receive back, after discovering that every statement they were sent by their mysterious investment adviser was a fiction. The $65bn (£43bn) he said was in client accounts was never really there and he never carried out a single investment on their behalf. So far, just $1bn has been recovered.

Stephen Harbeck, the president of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which is assessing victims' claims, said family members could be next in his legal sights: "The fact that we have not bought a lawsuit yet against members of the family shouldn't be taken as us deciding not doing so. It is a matter that is being worked on.

"We are doing what we have to do and at an appropriate time we will bring on the appropriate litigation. The SIPC believes that wrongdoers should pay for their wrongdoing, and we believe in taking an aggressive stance."

In a blizzard of legal filings to support their efforts to recover as much money as possible for victims, Mr Harbeck and Irving Picard, the receiver, included an extraordinary series of corporate credit card bills from last year, which show members of Madoff's family and senior staff members spending more than a million dollars, often on luxuries that appear to have little to do with the running of the business.

In one month, Ruth Madoff racked up $29,888 in spending, including on a shopping spree in Paris where she handed over $2,000 at a Giorgio Armani boutique and $1,237 for items from the designer Jil Sander. She also paid $5,000 for membership of the exclusive yacht club in Montauk, where the couple kept one of their four homes.

Peter Madoff, Bernard Madoff's brother and de facto deputy at the company, spent $441 on food from a gourmet deli called Tal Bagels on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

In a single month last summer, Mark Madoff spent almost $81,000 dollars on the card, after spending $8,400 on a single night's hotel bill earlier in the year as well as $2,166 in New York's Apple Store. His brother Andrew spent $2,395 on family clothing at Polo Ralph Lauren.

Bernard Madoff confessed last December that his investment business was "all just one big lie", and he was jailed in March after admitting 11 criminal charges. However, deep mystery still surrounds how he conducted his fraud, and when it began.

He has not been cooperating with the receiver, and neither have family members. Of the employees of the business that are helping to track down what remains of the money, "none of them is named Madoff and none of them is related to Madoff," Mr Harbeck said. Family members are believed to have been among dozens of people close to Madoff Investment Securities who withdrew $735m in the 90 days before the fraud collapsed, leading investigators to suspect they may have had an inkling that Madoff was in difficulty.

News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Sport
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Mobile Developer (.NET / C# / Jason / Jquery / SOA)

£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities