Madoff’s Wife Withdrew $15.5 Million On Eve Of Arrest

Feb 12 2009 | 2:06am ET

Accused Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff’s wife withdrew some $15.5 million in the weeks before his arrest, Massachusetts regulators said yesterday.

Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin is seeking to yank Cohmad Securities Corp.’s securities registration in the Bay State, accusing it of stonewalling his investigation of Madoff. In the complaint, filed yesterday, Galvin calls New York-based and Madoff co-owned Cohmad a Madoff feeder fund, and offers Ruth Madoff’s withdrawals from a Cohmad brokerage account as evidence that Cohmad and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities are “so intertwined that they could be viewed as a common enterprise.”

“We cannot tolerate licensed securities dealers who refuse to assist in the detection and prosecution of fraud,” Galvin said.

According to Galvin’s complaint, Ruth Madoff withdrew $5.5 million from the account on Nov. 25, and then $10 million on Dec. 10, the day before her husband’s arrest on charges of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme and, according to prosecutors, the day he confessed his scam to his sons.

While there is no indication that the withdrawals were illegal, if the Madoffs did not disclose the money to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ruth Madoff could face charges of aiding and abetting her husband by trying to save the money from seizure.

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