Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of the Madoff estate, doesn't believe that the relatives of Bernie Madoff who worked at the firm — his brother Peter, his sons Mark and Andrew, and his niece Shana — knew anything about his Ponzi scheme. But only because he thinks they were too stupid. Not only did they use the business as a "family piggy bank" to finance their flashy lifestyles, the trustee alleges in his $199 million lawsuit against the family, as employees, they were “completely derelict” in carrying out their professional duties. “Simply put, if the family members had been doing their jobs ... the Madoff Ponzi scheme might never have succeeded, or continued for so long,” he wrote. Ouch. At this point, if we were them, we'd say we knew it was all a scam just to look smarter.
4 Madoff Relatives Sued; Trustee Seeks $199 Million [DealBook/NYT]