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Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009, 4:04 pm

Madoff’s Lawyer One of His Victims

By Jeremy Gantz

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Everyone's favorite Ponzi schemer is pleading guilty without a plea deal. Astonishing stuff, ripped from the AP wire:

Bernard Madoff will plead guilty Thursday to 11 criminal counts including money laundering, perjury and securities, mail and wire fraud and will do so without a plea deal, knowing it carries a potential prison term of 150 years, lawyers said Tuesday in court.

And there's a crazy little nugget of info at the bottom of the story, which I somehow missed until now: the family of Madoff's lawyer, Ira Sorkin, had invested $900,000 with Madoff. And Madoff has waived any potential conflict of interests stemming from this quite pertinent financial relationship.

Wow. I mean, I suppose it's possible that Sorkin's family didn't lose all their money with Madoff (I don't know the details of their account with him), but it seems more than likely that Madoff is represented in federal court by one of his own victims, or at least a man directly related to his victims. It strikes me as yet another unprecedented aspect of this case.

Jeremy Gantz is a contributing editor at the magazine. He is the editor of The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's War on Working People (2017, Verso), and was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012.

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