One of those steerers was Sonja Kohn, an Austria-based banker who was paid $526,000 for money she funneled from her grandly named 16-employee Bank Medici into Cohmad. Kohn recently was the subject of published reports that said she was in hiding from Russian organized crime as a result of their losses through investments with Madoff. She denied the reports.
The plea bargain discussions were disclosed by prosecutors in their second request for an extension of the time needed before they were required to file an indictment.
In that filing, the government said that it needed the time to continue those plea bargain talks and that consideration outweighed any interest the defendant or the public may have in a speedy trial.
While the language of the extension, including mention of ongoing settlement talks, is fairly standard, it is somewhat unusual, defense attorneys who practice at the federal bar in New York say, for the government to ask for an extension in a case where the defendant has confessed, and most especially in a high profile case such as this one.
In the Massachusetts complaint, the Secretary of State's Securities Division stated that it sought to revoke the Securities registration of Madoff feeder fund Cohmad Securities Corporation "for failing to provide information about its relationship with the Bernard L. Madoff firm. 'Specifically, the Division sought to determine whether the businesses and finances of Cohmad and Madoff Investments were so intertwined that they could be viewed as a common enterprise, and not as separate entities, for purposes of imputing liability and obtaining investor relief,'" the administrative complaint explains.
According to Galvin, the principals of Cohmad failed to respond to subpoenas or, if they did, failed to provide complete responses. "We cannot tolerate licensed securities dealers who refuse to assist in the detection and prosecution of fraud," Galvin said in a statement.