US, Britain join Austria in Madoff-related probes

Officials have refused to release affidavits or other records relating to the case, citing the ongoing investigations and Austria's strict privacy laws.

The Austrian newspaper Der Standard said the U.S. Justice Department was investigating roughly $32 million in payments that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities allegedly made between 1998 and 2008 to Infovaleur, a New York company the paper said is owned by Kohn.

Prospectuses for the Medici funds now being examined by prosecutors made no mention of Madoff, Der Standard said.

That's because they were invested in S&P 500 stocks, Theiss said, contending that Medici and Kohn have simply been targeted by frustrated Austrian investors doing whatever they can to attempt to recover some of their losses.

"They want to put pressure on her," he said.

A federal judge in New York rejected Madoff's pleas for leniency and sentenced the 71-year-old on June 29 to spend the rest of his life in prison for an "extraordinarily evil" swindle that took a staggering toll on thousands of victims.

The massive Ponzi scheme run by Madoff since at least the early 1990s demolished the life savings of thousands of people, wrecked charities and shook confidence in the U.S. financial system.

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