My father attended Far Rockaway High School at the same time as Mr. Bernard Madoff and in fact, they were in the same graduating class.  He remembers from his high school yearbook "The Dolphin", that Mr. Madoff had lived in the Rockaways and was an ardent swimmer.  My father even showed me "The Dolphin", which contains a picture of Mr. Madoff in his youth.  The Far Rockaway of Mr. Madoff’s youth however, has little in common with the offshore high-risk geographical locations Mr. Madoff might have concealed assets in.

As I briefly indicated in the most recent New York Times article "Madoff Spotlight Turns To Role  Of Offshore Funds", enormous sums of money may be hidden by using multiple jurisdictions and nominees.  This same conclusion is partly reached by the Financial Action Task Force, whose "Money Laundering FAQ" webpage states that: "Large-scale money laundering schemes invariably contain cross-border elements."   According to "Madoff Spotlight Turns To Role Of Offshore Funds", cross-border elements in Mr. Madoff’s case might include offshore locations such as: the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Ireland, Singapore and banks in Switzerland.

To interdict illicit assets possibly hidden by Mr. Madoff in these offshore locations, governmental authorities could be turning to U.S. Treasury Department’s FinCen and other Financial Intelligence Units.  These Financial Intelligence Units may be using red flags to follow a money trail left by Mr. Madoff or his suspected nominees.  By recognizing red flags, Financial Intelligence Units or other governmental authorities might ultimately locate and forfeit assets beneficially owned by Mr. Madoff, which arise from his alleged $50 billion dollar Ponzi scheme.

(Edited January 15, 2009) 

Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams