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Wife of Madoff pulled out cash

She withdrew more than $15 million in the last two months of '08.

February 12, 2009|Associated Press

BOSTON — The wife of disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff withdrew more than $15 million from a firm co-owned by her husband, including $10 million on the day their children turned her husband over to authorities for overseeing an alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the top securities regulator in Massachusetts said Wednesday.

Secretary of State William Galvin said Ruth Madoff, 67, withdrew $5.5 million on Nov. 25 and $10 million on Dec. 10 -- the day before Bernard Madoff was arrested -- from Cohmad Securities Corp., a New York firm co-owned by her husband.

The secretary cited wire transfer records produced by Cohmad as proof of the withdrawals. Authorities said they came as Madoff's scheme was unraveling as investors filed $7 billion worth of redemption requests.

They also appeared to follow what authorities consider a disturbing trend on the part of the Madoffs to hide money that could be used to reimburse burned investors.

Prosecutors have already said investigators found 100 signed checks worth $173 million that Madoff was ready to send out to his closest relatives and friends at the time of his arrest in December. Two weeks later, during the Christmas holidays, Madoff sent more than $1 million in jewelry and heirlooms to family and friends.

"We're not accusing her of anything wrong," Galvin spokesman Brian McNiff said of Ruth Madoff. "It's just one of the things that came out in the response, such as it was, from Cohmad" to a subpoena from Massachusetts officials. "Now, what someone in New York or the feds may think of it may be entirely different."

A telephone number listed to Ruth Madoff in Palm Beach, Fla., rang busy and a number in New York had been disconnected.

A Cohmad spokeswoman in New York said the company had no comment. Ira Sorkin, a lawyer for Bernard Madoff, said he had no comment on the withdrawals.

In New York, the government and lawyers for Madoff agreed to a 30-day delay in the Wednesday deadline for obtaining a grand jury indictment against the money manager.

The new deadline is March 13.

As he had during a similar extension a month ago, Assistant U.S. Atty. Marc Litt wrote that the government requested the extension "for the purpose of allowing time to conduct additional discussions regarding a possible disposition of this case."

It has been widely anticipated the case will be resolved before trial through an agreement between the government and Madoff's lawyers.

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