Financier said to have joked about Bernie Madoff as he lost a fortune

Bernie Madoff

In 2003, a research company met with J. Ezra Merkin, a prominent Wall Street financier who had earned a fortune investing his clients’ money with Bernie Madoff.

The New York Times reports that during the meeting, according to a new court filing, Merkin admitted that he did not fully understand Madoff’s business and questioned its legitimacy.

He warned the unnamed company never to 'go long in a big way' with Madoff. He joked that 'Charles Ponzi would lose out because it would be called the ‘Madoff scheme,’' according to notes from the meeting.

Some new details came from a phone call Merkin recorded during the fall of 2005, between himself and Madoff.

After a different Ponzi scheme came to light involving the Bayou Group, a hedge fund firm in Stamford, Conn., Merkin told Madoff that this would further stoke suspicions about his business.

The lawsuit seeks at least $560m, an amount that the trustee said Merkin’s funds withdrew from Madoff accounts before the Ponzi scheme was revealed. Merkin has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

Hit the link below to access the complete New York Times article:

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