Eleven Bernard Madoff family members and associates will not have to turn over about £33 million to the liquidator of Madoff's British operations, a court has ruled.
Jude Andrew Popplewell ruled Friday that the 11, including Madoff's sons, do not owe the liquidators of Madoff Securities International anything. Instead, the judge found that Madoff's $65 billion fraud "blighted" their lives and "tainted their good names simply by association."
The ruling followed a month-long trial most notable for two witnesses: Sonja Kohn, whom Madoff's U.S. receiver has called his "criminal soul mate," and Madoff's brother, Peter, who appeared via video link from a U.S. prison. In addition to Andrew Madoff, Bernard Madoff's surviving son, the defendants including Madoff International CEO Stephen Raven.
"We are obviously extremely disappointed with the judgment," Grant Thornton, the U.K. liquidator, said. "Detailed considerations of Mr. Justice Popplewell's findings is ongoing and we are considering our position in conjunction with our legal advisers."
Grant Thornton can petition Popplewell for the right to appeal his decision.