Exclusive: Accountant's plea signals more possible scrutiny of Madoff son
By Joseph Ax
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors may still be building a case against imprisoned swindler Bernard Madoff's only surviving son, who according to sources was one of the "co-conspirators" mentioned in a plea deal by a Madoff associate last month.
Two sources familiar with the Madoff case confirmed to Reuters that people identified only as "co-conspirators" in statements and court documents at accountant Paul Konigsberg's June 24 plea hearing are Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew, who were employees of the Madoff investment firm.
Mark Madoff committed suicide in December 2010 at the age of 46 on the second anniversary of Bernard Madoff's arrest. Andrew Madoff, 48, spoke publicly last year about his battle with stage-four blood cancer, though his current health is unclear.
Andrew Ehrlich, a lawyer for Andrew Madoff and Mark Madoff's estate, declined to comment on the case.
Speculation about whether the sons knew of their father's decades-long, worldwide fraud has persisted since its collapse. They have denied any involvement in the scheme, which is estimated to have cost investors $17 billion in principal.
A spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said only that the Madoff investigation continues, including efforts to recover assets for victims of the Ponzi scheme, in which the money of new investors was used to pay returns to earlier clients.
Last September, The New York Times reported that prosecutors had examined Andrew Madoff's conduct. But the Konigsberg case is the first signal in months that the government may still be contemplating charges.
Konigsberg signed a deal to cooperate with prosecutors as part of his plea. With no charges pending against anyone else, the deal, coupled with the references to the Madoff sons as co-conspirators, suggests prosecutors hope Konigsberg may be able to provide evidence against Andrew Madoff, a legal expert said. Continued...