May 18, 2009

U.S. prosecutors have broadened their criminal investigation of the Bernard Madoff case beyond the friends and family of the confessed swindler to at least eight investors and associates, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

[efoods]The paper named three investors under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Jeffry Picower and Stanley Chais, two philanthropists who are the target of lawsuits brought by the trustee liquidating the Madoff firm.

Carl Shapiro, a women’s clothing entrepreneur and close friend of Madoff, is also under criminal investigation, the article said.

Investigators have gathered evidence of Picower and Chais telling Madoff how much in returns they wanted and that their accounts would reflect the amounts, the paper said. It said investigators were also reviewing evidence suggesting Shapiro knew his returns were fraudulent.

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