"Going back some time," testified Tucker, "Bernie once or twice said, 'You know, I may consult with my kids who run the trading room because they get a good feel for where the market is.''
"So the two kids, was it Andrew Madoff was one of them and -- ?" asked the SEC lawyer.
"Andrew and Mark," replied Tucker.
Madoff's statement to Tucker was a lie on at least one level. He never made any trades for his investors, so there would be no reason he would consult his sons about which trades to make. Nevertheless, by invoking Andy and Mark's names Madoff was able to pull the wool over Tucker's eyes. At another point, Madoff also told Fairfield Greenwich that if he were to die suddenly, his sons or brother would take over. If nothing else, he used his sons to carry on the deceit, because planting the idea of them by his side picking stocks or ready to succeed him helped bolster his image.
The sons told the FBI they were completely unaware of their father's crimes until he confessed to them on December 10.
Others on Wall Street have said that if Mark and Andy did not know, they should have known. Given Madoff's sons day-to-day involvement in the market, many wondered how Andy and Mark could not have not have noticed their father's lack of trades and not have realized something was wrong. Madoff did not like titles, but his son Mark was considered the head of trades.
"That the sons didn't question the fact that there was no volume in the securities that they were making markets in, that he was supposedly trading," said Suzanne Murphy, a hedge-fund adviser, raised lots of questions. "Dad, hey, why aren't we doing these trades? They had to know something, something, funny was going on, because they weren't doing the trades."
According to the bankruptcy trustee, both Mark and Andy had accounts with their father. "So presumably they were getting statements," said Murphy. "And if they had looked at their statements, they would've said, 'Wait a second.'"
Madoff's cover story for the lack of trades in the New York office was that all of the trades were being handled through the European markets by the London office, Madoff Securities International, LTD. His employees in London have since told British and American investigators that, other than a small volume for Madoff's personal accounts, they never made any such trades. Both Mark and Andy had been directors of the London business since 1998, and in that role they had the ability, and some would say the fiduciary responsibility, to learn the truth.
Like many others, however, the two sons had plenty of reasons not to push their father on the way he did business. He always took care of them.
Madoff gave Mark a $5 million loan while he was married to his first wife, Susan, with whom he had two children, Daniel and Katherine. According to records filed in his divorce proceedings in 1999, Mark was then making $770,000 a year working for his father. His "periodic dividends" from his partial ownership of the London office were applied to pay the interest on the $5 million loan from his father.