PONZI

Madoff Pal Faces Civil Charges

Bernie Madoff isn't solely responsible for one of the largest ponzi schemes of all time, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo claims in civil charges out this morning against J. Ezra Merkin. Merkin is believed to have "betrayed hundreds of investors" by directing $2.4 billion of their funds to Madoff's shady enterprise. "Merkin held himself out to investors as an investing guru... In reality, Merkin was but a master marketer," Cuomo alleges. Merkin, a one-time high-end philanthropic leader and the former chairman of GMAC, is cooperating with the investigation. Yeshiva University, NYU, and Mort Zuckerman's charitable trust were among his clients.