Did Madoff Act Alone?
Is a Federal Grand Jury about to consider charges against Stanley Chais?
With the date quickly approaching when the statue of limitations runs out in various Madoff related investigations, Pro Publica takes an in-depth look at the Madoff Circle: Who Knew What?
“When Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, he insisted he was the lone perpetrator, asserting that no one – not his family, not his colleagues, not his friends – knew of the fraud.
But an alternate narrative is emerging from the pile of Madoff-related civil suits and court motions that have been filed in the last two years – one in which a small circle of men played knowing, integral roles in the scheme, in some cases benefiting more from it than even Madoff himself.
The evidence for this remains largely circumstantial. These relationships were forged in the days before e-mail, and none of the cases has yet produced anything for public consumption that delivers insights into what these men were thinking.
… The cast of characters, spelled out mostly in complaints filed by the trustee and the SEC, includes: Carl Shapiro, 97, a Boston-based philanthropist who made one fortune in ladies dresses and a larger one with Madoff; Robert Jaffe, 66, Shapiro’s son-in-law; Maurice “Sonny” Cohn, 79, a onetime Madoff neighbor turned business partner; Stanley Chais, 83, a close friend of Madoff’s for more than 50 years and one of his earliest investors; and Jeffry Picower, a lawyer and accountant, who recently died of a heart attack at 67.
None of these men has been charged criminally. Thus far, federal authorities have indicated in court filings that just one of them – Chais – is the subject of a criminal inquiry.”