Suburban D.A. Ends Probe Of Madoff Auditor

Dec 29 2008 | 3:22am ET

One investigation of Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme has come to a premature end. The Rockland County, N.Y., district attorney has ended his probe into Madoff’s auditor to avoid a “duplication” of the federal effort.

“Following our discussion with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, it’s apparent our efforts would be a duplication of theirs,” Thomas Zugibe told Bloomberg News. “We’re satisfied the federal government is properly exploring Mr. Friehling’s involvement.”

Mr. Friehling is David Friehling, the sole partner of Friehling & Horowitz, the accounting firm that signed off on Madoff’s books. The firm, which operates out of a storefront in the Rockland hamlet of New City, N.Y., has been the subject of much interest in the wake of Madoff’s arrest earlier this month. The firm—cited by some would-be Madoff investors as a red flag that helped convince them not to invest with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities—approved Madoff’s Oct. 31, 2006, statement of financial condition, even though it has told the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that it has not conducted audits for 15 years.

Last week, the firm’s 550-square-foot office 30 miles north of New York City had a “for rent” sign on the door, Bloomberg News reports.

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