Madoff Trustee Seeks Extra $14M From Scammer's Wife

Mar 21 2011 | 2:52pm ET

The owners of the New York Mets aren't the only ones facing renewed and unwanted scrutiny from the court-appointed receiver in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme case.

The arch-fraudster's wife, Ruth, got at least $14 million from her husband's $65 billion scheme. Some of that money came through the Madoffs' investment of $12 million in Sterling Equities, the investment vehicle of New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. Sterling Equities, in turn, invested much of its money with Madoff. She is named in Picard's suit against Wilpon and Katz.

Picard based his estimate on Madoff's financial records from January 2002 through December 2008, including bank statements and cancelled checks. The trustee alleges that all of it was the fruit of Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Ruth, who is now going by her maiden name, Alpem, after cutting ties with her husband in the wake of their son's suicide last year, has already agreed to forfeit claims to more than $80 million in assets, including her homes and her yachts, in exchange for being allowed to keep $2.5 million. But that agreement doesn't protect her from Picard, who sued her in the summer of 2009 for $44.8 million.

Ruth Madoff has until March 31 to respond the Picard's suit.

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