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Madoff sent client funds through Anglo

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Financier Bernard Madoff. Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images

Financier Bernard Madoff. Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images

Financier Bernard Madoff. Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images

JAILED financier Bernie Madoff funnelled investor funds through Anglo Irish Bank accounts to pay for his extravagant lifestyle, a US court case has alleged.

Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his role in the infamous €45bn Ponzi scheme last June, is alleged to have shifted $16m (€11m) in client money through Anglo's London operation and Barclays to his family's personal accounts.

It is alleged client funds were transferred from Madoff's head office in New York to its trading centre in London. Some of these funds were then transferred through Anglo to fund private investments, and a luxury yacht and vintage cars.

The case claims client funds were used to pay for a 75ft Leopold 23 sports yacht, the "Bull", in 2007. It was seized after Madoff's arrest and is being sold by Wyles Hardy yacht brokers on Tuesday, as part of a major sale of Madoff's properties and assets.

The case claims that around €160,000 was withdrawn from the financier's London bank accounts to buy a vintage Aston Martin sports car. A further €2.7m in client monies was funnelled to accounts for Madoff's own use.

The case is being taken by one of Madoff's victims, Donna McBride, on behalf of Beacon Investments. It's core claims are based on findings from the US Securities and Exchange Commission probe and an investigation by Irving Picard, the liquidator of the shattered investment outfit, according to the filings.

A separate lawsuit taken against the Madoffs by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in the US Bankruptcy court in New York, provides details of transactions through Anglo. Court documents obtained by the Sunday Independent show that on December 27, 2006, Madoff's operations wired €1.3m from its Anglo account in London to Ruth Madoff's accounts at the Bank of Wachovia.

On November 26, 2008, Madoff's UK operation directed a wire transfer from its Anglo account, with €1.4m transferred to Mrs Madoff's account in Wachovia Bank. Anglo did not comment.

Anglo itself was hit for €4.7m due to the collapse of the Madoff empire. The bank had a non-recourse loan to the AIAC leveraged hedge fund which was linked to the collapse. This loan was subsequently written off.

Court documents also reveal other links between Madoff's empire and Ireland. Prosecutors have alleged the Madoff fraud involved a "labyrinth of interconnected international funds, institutions and entities of almost unparalleled complexity and breath" in a number of countries, including Ireland.

The High Court here is hearing legal actions over how €830m entrusted to HSBC's Irish subsidiary ended up in Madoff's coffers.

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