Nicola Finnerty , partner, Corker Binning, acts for Madoff Securities International Ltd, former chief executive. Finnerty comments in Bloomberg on SFO’s decision not to prosecute.
Madoff U.K. Unit Won’t Face Charges in Criminal Probe (Update2)
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) — Madoff Securities International Ltd., the U.K. unit of convicted con artist Bernard Madoff’s investment scheme, and its directors won’t be charged after prosecutors said they found “insufficient evidence.”
The U.K. Serious Fraud Office said there isn’t enough evidence to “provide a realistic prospect of conviction.” The SFO is continuing to investigate “wider aspects of the fraud,” it said today in a statement. The agency is probing several funds with operations in Europe that invested with Madoff.
Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty in March to using money from new investors to pay off old ones in a Ponzi scheme, sparking investigations and dozens of lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe. Investors lost more than $13 billion in Madoff’s fraud, U.S. prosecutors have said in court.
“It seems they have taken the view that the time and cost involved in pursuing the case was not justified against the prospects of success,” said Omar Qureshi, who handles fraud cases as a partner at CMS Cameron-McKenna in London.
Madoff Securities International in London was owned almost exclusively by Madoff and served as his proprietary trading unit, Irving Picard, who was appointed by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. to unwind Madoff’s businesses, said last year in a London court filing.
Stephen Raven, the former chief executive officer of Madoff Securities International, “is pleased with the outcome of the SFO investigation and that he and his directors have been fully exonerated,” his lawyer, Nicola Finnerty, said today.
Madoff Securities International had a staff of 25, including traders, managers and support workers, according to Picard.
Madoff is accused by U.S. prosecutors of sending more than $250 million between 2002 and 2008 to the U.K. unit in London’s Mayfair district from New York-based Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, and then back to U.S. accounts.
He did this “to give the appearance that he was conducting securities transactions on behalf of the investors, when, in fact, he was not,” according to the indictment.
Madoff is serving 150 years in prison in North Carolina for the scheme. Prosecutors in the U.S. previously charged chief Madoff aide Frank DiPascali, his accountant David Friehling, and his computer programmers, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez.
Money manager Stanley Chais is under criminal investigation in the U.S. for funneling money to Madoff through several funds, and 20.20 Medici AG Chairman Sonja Kohn is under investigation in the U.K. and Austria. No executives from funds that invested with Madoff have been accused of criminal wrongdoing.