Bernie Madoff Gets $13,800 Tax Rebate


madoffThe disgraced financier Bernie Madoff has received a $13,800 tax rebate, angering clients who lost billions in the biggest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street history. The jailed fraudster was sent the money after overpaying the property taxes on his waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, which his wife still owns despite other assets being seized by investigators who unravelled his $65bn investment scam.

The rebate cheque was issued last month and made payable to Ruth and Bernard Madoff. Ruth Madoff sent the check back to the tax office asking that it be reissued with her husband’s name removed.

Ruth Madoff successfully challenged the property’s 2008 valuation of $9.4m, resulting in a revaluation to $8.5m and a 9% discount in the couple’s tax bill of $151,000.

“Do I think she should keep it? Absolutely not. She’s been forced to give up all her other assets and that money should be put back in the pot,” Ronnie Sue Ambrosino, who runs a support website for Madoff’s victims, told the Palm Beach Post.

Bernard Madoff was jailed for 150 years in June for fraud, money laundering and perjury.

The couple’s lawyer refused to explain why Madoff requested the cheque be reissued in her name alone, but any joint assets the couple had were seized to help compensate his thousands of victims, who ranged from Hollywood film stars to retired public service employees.

The money “will go where it is supposed to go”, Mrs Madoff’s attorney, Peter Chavkin, said in an email to the Palm Beach newspaper. She is “obliged to assist the government in recovering any covered assets.”

In an agreement with investigators, Madoff was allowed to keep $2.5m of her own assets.

Under Florida law a person’s primary home is protected from court judgements, and Mrs Madoff is listed as the mansion’s sole owner in Palm Beach County records. But tax experts say that, by law, rebate checks can only be issued in the names of those who made the initial payment, so Madoff’s request to have it reissued is likely to be refused.

{The Guardian/ Newscenter}



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