Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Last updated 2 min ago
Jul 11 2013 | 11:30am ET
Bernard Madoff's Austrian banker has denied that she had a "clandestine" agreement with the arch-fraudster to introduce him to wealthy investors.
Sonja Kohn, whom Madoff's U.S. receiver called his "criminal soul mate," and Madoff sought to disguise payments she received for the introductions as payments for research, the liquidator of Madoff's U.K. business alleged. Kohn took the stand in London yesterday to defend herself against civil claims brought by the liquidator, Grant Thornton.
"There has not been a private agreement with me and Mr. Madoff," Kohn said. And she said it should have been "obvious" to the directors of Madoff Securities International that the payments were not for research.
"None of [the press reports] spoke of me like an analyst or a research guy," she said. Rather, they focused on her many connections.
Grant Thornton claims that Kohn knew the US$27 million she allegedly received from Madoff was improper, and said the research she provided had no value and was plagiarized.
"You and Madoff knew that something had to be delivered to London and this had to be done in the cheapest possible way," Pushpinder Saini, a lawyer for Grant Thornton, said.
"I disagree with your suggestion," Kohn replied, adding, "I would be very disappointed if the people who did the research did that. I was not aware of it." According to Grant Thornton, more than 60% of a sample of research from Kohn was plagiarized.
While proclaiming her innocence—the liquidators do not allege that she knew of Madoff's fraud—Kohn did express one regret.
"Perhaps in hindsight it would have been better to have invoices which were much more detailed."
Mar 9 2015 | 6:35am ET
As more investors look to diversify, many are beginning to use retirement funds to invest in alternative assets such as private equity and real estate. Kelly Rodriques, CEO & President of PENSCO Trust Company, explains how companies can connect with those looking to use their retirement accounts in a different way. Read more…
Mar 20 2015 | 12:45pm ET
StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization that works with low-income individuals to help them overcome employment barriers, raised over $275,000 at the 2015 Raising the Ante Charity Poker Tournament and Casino Event last Wednesday evening at Capitale. Here are some photos from the event. Read more…