CT Investment Firm Stung by Madoff

The disgraced investor Bernard Madoff made a brief court appearance today at a Manhattan federal courthouse.

He had to complete paperwork for his bail after a judge set new conditions for his release. He was at the courthouse to sign over his Upper East Side apartment and his homes in Palm Beach and the Hamptons for his $10 million bond.

Madoff has already surrendered his passport, and will be required to be at his Manhattan apartment from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.

More victims are coming forward in Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme.  The latest is a Connecticut-based investment firm started in the early 1980s by a well-connected Greenwich banker.

Fairfield Greenwich Group invested $7.5 billion with Madoff, who prosecutors say concocted a $50 billion scheme to defraud investors around the globe, company officials said.

Critics said Fairfield Greenwich and other so-called feeder funds that invested their clients' money failed to make sure the investments were proper.

Suzanne Murphy, managing director of hedge fund consultant Tri-Artisan, said her firm looked into Madoff's operation six years ago and concluded it was fraud. Madoff was so well-regarded that many did not want to hear her findings, she said. 

"It was a cult thing," Murphy said. "People would literally yell at me at the dinner table."

Fairfield Greenwich Group has said it plans to aggressively pursue recovery of assets related to Madoff.

The Town of Fairfield is another investor who had funds tied up in Madoff's investment pool. Its employees board, along with the police and fire board invested $41,900,000.

The 70-year-old Madoff was arrested last week.

The chairman of a House Financial Services panel, Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski, said Wednesday that Congress will investigate the allegations. The scandal has further weakened already-battered investor confidence in securities markets and has raised more troubling questions about the effectiveness of the regulator system, he said.

The Pennsylvania congressman said he'll convene a congressional inquiry early next month to examine the alleged Madoff fraud and to determine why the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators failed to detect what he described as "these substantial evasions."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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