February 5, 2009 / 3:53 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Madoff client list peppered with big names

(Adds comment on list, trustee statement on tax forms)

By Martha Graybow and Grant McCool

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax, actor John Malkovich and World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein are among the well-known people on a list of customers of accused swindler Bernard Madoff, according to court papers.

Among the thousands of others on the roster are U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey; Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets baseball team; imprisoned class-action lawyer Melvyn Weiss; Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew and their children as well as Madoff’s brother, Peter.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, Columbia University and the charity Jewish Funds for Justice are among other customers listed.

The 162-page document was filed late Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York as a court-appointed trustee liquidates Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to recover assets for defrauded customers.

The nonprofit Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) has set a July 2 deadline for customers to make their claims. The customer list contains names and addresses of individuals and institutions. No amounts of money were given.

On Thursday, a person briefed on the list titled “Customers” said it was an all-encompassing list of people whose names were found in the trustee’s examination of records, but not all of them were necessarily investors.

“It’s not saying every one of the people on the list will have claims,” said Ailis Aaron Wolf, who works with SIPC.

In all, five lists were filed with the court, labeled Customers, Vendors, Employees, Brokers/Dealers and Other Parties.

The Manhattan office of Madoff’s firm was declared a crime scene after the 70-year-old investment manager was arrested on Dec. 11. Madoff is accused in what authorities have described as the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. In a Ponzi scheme, early investors are paid with money from new investors.

The lists were put together by AlixPartners LLP, a firm specializing in bankruptcy claims, assisting the trustee, lawyer Irving Picard.

One of Madoff’s lawyers, Ira Lee Sorkin, is also named on the customer list.

Sorkin declined to comment to Reuters on Thursday on whether he had invested with Madoff.

“I’ve been told it’s a client list, and I’ve also been told it’s a mailing list, so I think you need to check with the receiver or the trustee to determine whether these individuals are clients, customers, investors or just simply received mail,” Sorkin said.

“My position from day one has been I will not discuss present clients or former clients,” he said.

Trustee Picard said in a statement Thursday he will not issue tax forms for information on interest, dividends or securities transactions to customers of the Madoff firm for the tax year 2008 because “there are questions about the accuracy of the BLMIS (Madoff) financial records.”

Picard said in court on Wednesday that $946 million has been recovered so far from Madoff’s firm. He said, however, that gaining access to the firm’s computers and examining 7,000 boxes of documents stored in a warehouse was taking time.

The customer list provides new details about the clients that the once-respected Madoff cultivated over the years — people who live in affluent neighborhoods of Manhattan and parts of South Florida including Palm Beach and Boca Raton.

Also listed are the Madoff firm’s outside auditors, David Friehling and Jerome Horowitz from the small Friehling & Horowitz accounting firm in New City, New York, as well as Madoff’s wife, Ruth, and Madoff employees, including JoAnne “Jodi” Crupi and Frank DiPascali.

Among the financial institutions on the customer list are UBS AG UBSN.VX(UBS.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Citigroup Inc (C.N).

Financiere Agache, a subsidiary of the holding company of French billionaire Bernard Arnault, was also on the list. Arnault is the head of luxury goods group LVMH (LVMH.PA) and his Groupe Arnault holding firm controls Financiere Agache.

A spokesman for Financiere Agache told Reuters its account with Madoff had been inactive since 2004, although it had not been legally closed. The spokesman added that Financiere Agache had not booked any losses from the account.

The case is Securities Investor Protection Corp v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC 08-01789 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan). (Additional reporting by Julien Ponthus in Paris; editing by John Wallace and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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