Galvin wants Cohmad records in Madoff case
Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin is again pressing in court for Cohmad Securities Corp., a brokerage firm that was part-owned by Bernard Madoff, to produce customer records that the state and the trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy are seeking.
Last week, a Suffolk Superior Court judge overruled a hearing officer who had stripped Cohmad of its license to do business in Massachusetts for failing to respond to Galvin's request for the information. Cohmad's lawyers had argued that they were not provided enough time to respond to the request.
Galvin's office today filed a motion asking the court to require Cohmad to provide the customer information, including the number of Massachusetts investors that did business with the firm and the fees earned on those clients. Time is of the essence, the state argued, "because Cohmad has begun to wind down operations, which can lead to significant dissipation of assets and information."
"We think this is a deliberate effort to conceal assets from the trustee,'' Galvin said in an interview.
He said his office has been working with Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee in the Madoff bankruptcy case, who is also interested in receiving copies of the Cohmad accounting. Picard is charged with recovering as many assets as possible to distribute to Madoff's victims.
Cohmad's lawywers were not immediately available for comment. In the past, they have said that while Cohmad had Massachusetts customers, it did not have an angoing intermediary relationship with any investors its employees may have introduced to Madoff.
Cohmad for many years had a Boston office. One person who worked there was Robert Jaffe, a member of a wealthy philanthropic family in Boston that lost hundreds of millions of dollars to Madoff. Jaffe maintains that he had no idea Madoff was conducting a multi-billion-dollar fraud.
(By Beth Healy, Globe staff)