2 Apr 2009

Disgraced US financier's property seized

11:08 pm on 2 April 2009

Marshals in Florida have seized the multimillion-dollar Palm Beach house of disgraced American financier Bernard Madoff and his wife.

Madoff's 17-metre yacht, named Bull, and a motor boat were seized earlier from two Florida marinas.

In March, Madoff, 70, pleaded guilty to all 11 charges that he masterminded a $US50 billion investment fraud.

Separately, United States financial regulators accused a major feeder fund of lying to clients about the risks they faced.

Officials in Florida confirmed that the Madoff's house in the exclusive area of the state had been entered and secured.

Earlier, regulators in Massachusetts brought civil fraud charges against the Fairfield Greenwich Group, saying company officials had been coached by Madoff on how to answer questions by federal investigators about his investment practices.

Fairfield Greenwich - which had reportedly invested $US7 billion with the disgraced financier - denied the allegations, saying it would "vigorously" contest them.

Madoff has been remanded to prison until his sentencing in June. He could be jailed for up to 150 years.

Madoff has said he acted alone in masterminding the Ponzi scheme, whereby early investors were paid off with the money injected by new clients.

A former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, Madoff had been a player on Wall Street for more than 40 years.