Madoff Brokerage, Execs Settle

Nov 3 2010 | 2:55am ET

A brokerage firm part-owned by Bernard Madoff has settled charges stemming from his $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Cohmad Securities and three executives settled Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that they failed to notify clients—who poured more than $1 billion into Madoff's scam—of "serious questions" about Madoff's operations by agreeing not to violate securities laws. None admitted or denied any wrongdoing.

The settlement with Cohmad, Chairman Maurice Cohn, chief operating officer Marcia Cohn and former vice president Robert Jaffe still requires court approval. The SEC said fines and restitution would be determined later.

"The Cohns are pleased that there is no allegation that they had sought to deceive anyone or knowingly participated in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme," Clifford Thau, a lawyer for New York-based Cohmad and the Cohns, said. All four defendants have steadfastly denied any wrongdoing, and an earlier SEC lawsuit against them was dismissed in February.

Court-appointed receiver Irving Picard has also sued Cohmad, the Cohns and Jaffe, seeking to recoup some of the $98.4 million Cohmad allegedly received for marketing Madoff's services.

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