Today Bernie Madoff and his lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, went to court to discuss Sorkin's possible conflicts of interest in representing his client. There were several, but the ones involving himself and his family are the most interesting. Sorkin's parents at one point had entrusted $900,000 to Madoff (this is why, Sorkin said, his name appeared on the list of victims that was released last month). And as it turns out, back in the nineties, Sorkin himself invested $18,860 with the Ponz, though it was through a retirement account with his job, he doesn't remember doing it, and the money has since been transferred to another brokerage.
None of this strikes us as that odd: We're talking moneyed Jewish folks, we're talking New York, we're talking biggest Ponzi scheme ever. It makes sense that he'd have been connected somehow.
But then it gets slightly weirder.
Sorkin's parents allowed him to oversee their funds. It was intended to be a trust for his sons. And in August of 2007, soon after his parents died, Sorkin transferred their money to Merrill Lynch. He missed losing that chunk o' change by just shy of a year.
That didn't seem to bother anyone in court today, however. Prosecutors told the court that “the government does not believe that these facts present any potential conflicts.” All it proves, we guess, is that Sorkin might just be soulless enough to defend the same person who might have defrauded him and his family.