Swindler Bernard Madoff says he shouldn't take all the blame for his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, pointing out that financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, played a role in the scam.
Banks handling the questionable transactions had enough information to detect suspicious activities but did nothing, the disgraced financier says.
"I am not a banker but I know that $100 billion going in and out of a bank account is something that should alert you to something," Madoff tells the Financial Times from the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.
"JPMorgan got all the financial statements," Madoff adds, pointing out that "there were senior people at the bank who knew what was going on."
He did not name names or provide any further details.
The Financial Times reports that Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff’s firm, filed a lawsuit in December 2010 against JPMorgan, seeking $6.4 billion on the grounds that the bank was "willfully blind to the fraud" and "complicit in it."
JPMorgan denies any wrongdoing, although Madoff says "JPMorgan doesn’t have a chance in hell of not coming up with a big settlement."
Two other banks sued by Picard, HSBC and UBS, "are going to have big problems," Madoff adds.
Picard, meanwhile, is suing two more banks in the case, pointing out that Pictet & Cie and Banque J. Safra, two Geneva-based private banks, should have known of Madoff's fraudulent activities.
Pictet made $156 million and Safra made $60 million through investments in feeder funds that channeled money to Madoff, Picard says in the complaints, according to Bloomberg.
Picard has sued hundreds of firms, individuals and trusts seeking the return of profits made in Madoff’s fraud.
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