No Apology From Ruth Madoff

Investors' money from Bernie Madoff's ponzi scam funded lavish lifestyle.

May 6, 2009, 5:13 PM

May 20, 2009— -- Ruth Madoff was silent as she left a recent visit to the prison where Bernard Madoff is being held as he awaits sentencing in a nearly $65 billion ponzi scheme.

Mrs. Madoff was asked by ABC News if she had anything to say to the victims of her husband's scam or whether she played a role in it.

"I have no response to you," Ruth Madoff said.

Ruth has told members of her family that she feels lonely and shunned since her husband admitted to the fraud. But the victims of the scam have little sympathy.

"Why would you have sympathy for his wife in any of these circumstances?" asked Jon Landers, an attorney representing some of Madoff's victims. "She was one of the largest beneficiaries of the fraud. She enjoyed a very rich lifestyle that practically everyone would love to emulate and it was paid for by someone else," Landers said.

Documents recently released illustrate a lavish lifestyle that was funded by investors' money. American Express corporate platinum card statements show the Madoffs spent freely around the world.

There was a $1,900 dinner at a New York City restaurant.

Ruth Madoff spent nearly $3,800 on a Paris shopping spree.

Their sons, Andrew and Mark, spent more than $13,000 on a ski trip in Jackson Hole, WY.

"It becomes so easy and if you go on year after year after year and you're not caught then I'll go to Neiman Marcus and I'll pay for the yacht and I'll fly to Europe and I'll go to the Riviera because it becomes normal even though it's really criminal activity," said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and an ABC News consultant.

The documents filed in bankruptcy court by the trustee overseeing the liquidation show Madoff used investor money to reward key employees.

Madoff sent $2.2 million so that one staffer, now under criminal investigation, could buy a New Jersey beach house.

Frank DiPascali, Madoff's right hand man, was paid nearly $3 million a year. DiPascali's boat captain was also on the Madoff payroll, according to the documents.

Bernie Madoff's Luxury Lifestyle

Madoff loaned his brother, Peter, $9 million using investors' money. Peter's wife, Marion, was also on the payroll earning $163,500 a year even though there is no evidence she ever performed work, according to the documents.

"The documentation in this affidavit clearly places family members and others in a middle of a laundry list of white collar crime," Garrett said.

In their go-go days, Bernie and Ruth were quite the jet setters, using stolen money to cultivate the sophisticated image of old money socialites.

Now their Palm Beach house, the oceanfront estate on New York's Long Island, and the villa and yacht on the Riviera have all been seized or sold.

"They ought to give up every single nickel that they can," Landers said. "Many of our clients gave up every single nickel involuntarily to a criminal enterprise. They don't understand why Ruth Madoff should come off better than they have."

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