Judge freezes assets of Madoff sons, executives

BOSTON Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:35pm EDT

BOSTON (Reuters) - Financial swindler Bernard Madoff's two sons and top executives who ran portfolios that funneled money to Madoff's Ponzi scheme are prohibited from selling houses or moving their money around, a judge ordered.

The order marks the first time that a judge has frozen assets owned by the Madoff sons, who worked with their father, and the hedge fund industry executives.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Arthur Hiller on Monday afternoon granted a temporary restraining order that freezes assets owned by Mark Madoff and Andrew Madoff. It also freezes the assets of their mother and of their uncle, Peter Madoff.

The order, which is effective until April 13, also covers the assets of prominent hedge fund industry personalities Walter Noel and Jeffrey Tucker, who together founded hedge fund firm Fairfield Greenwich; Andres Piedrahita, a managing director at Fairfield Greenwich; Sandra Manzke, who ran Maxam Capital; and Robert Schulman, who once ran Tremont Group Holdings.

The sons and the executives have not been charged.

Hiller signed the order in response to a lawsuit filed on Monday by the town of Fairfield's pension funds. Town employees are trying to recover millions of dollars in retirement money they say they lost in Madoff investments.

"This is an important step," said David Golub, a lawyer who is representing the town of Fairfield.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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