Feds looking to freeze Ruth Madoff’s assets

-NY Post
NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Federal investigators are  looking to freeze the assets of Ruth Madoff, the wife of jailed  swindler Bernard Madoff, because of fears she might flee the  country or otherwise spirit away some of the $93 million in her  name, the New York Post reported yesterday, citing sources.

The Post also said law enforcement sources told the paper that  the freeze was just a first step and that prosecutors were working  to build a criminal case against Ruth Madoff.

The report said the Securities and Exchange Commission and  federal prosecutors in Manhattan are preparing to ask a judge to  formally freeze Ruth Madoff’s assets as soon as possible.

An SEC source told the Post that U.S. attorneys will ask for  the freeze in the “next week or so.” They will argue the assets  are derived from ill-gotten gains, according to that source.

Bernard Madoff, 70, was jailed on Thursday after pleading  guilty to running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street  history that drew in as much as $65 billion over 20 years.

His sentencing on 11 criminal charges is scheduled for June  16, when he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Married to Bernard Madoff for nearly 50 years, Ruth Madoff  played no formal role at her husband’s company and has not been  accused of any wrongdoing.

Still, Ruth Madoff has gotten her share of attention in the  case for activities including mailing more than $1 million worth  of jewelry and watches in violation of a court order, withdrawing  $15.5 million before her husband’s Dec. 11 arrest and an attempt  to separate millions of dollars of her assets from his purported  fraud.

She has agreed to a voluntary asset freeze, but the Post says  that agreement is not legally binding.

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