Madoff Trustee Sues Accountants for 900 Million

By The Associated Press

The trustee recovering money for investors who lost billions of dollars in Bernard Madoff's fraud sued two accountants for $900 million, accusing them of assisting Madoff in a $20 billion Ponzi scheme.

Irving Picard filed the lawsuit late Friday against accountants Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes. Picard also named their wives, Avellino's son Thomas Avellino, and other family members as defendants.

The suit was filed hours after Picard filed a civil racketeering case accusing offshore bankers of assisting Madoff in his fraud. Taken together, the actions seem to broaden the number of accomplices Picard thinks are responsible in Madoff's decades worth of fraud, even though the financier insisted to authorities that he acted alone.

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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