Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Last updated 1 hour 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."
Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET
As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…
Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...