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Paul Konigsberg

Toomre Capital Markets LLC Quoted in NYT Article on Madoff and His Accountants

Bernie Madoff Enter Federal Court Building on March 12, 2009On Thursday March 12th 2009, Bernie Madoff pled guilty to all eleven counts associated with his vast and long-running Ponzi scheme. He did so without a plea agreement and hence did not disclose any information about who else might have been involved in the scheme. Hence, many questions remain about the small group of accounting firms that were connected with Bernie Madoff's activities in one form or another.

Ahead of the plea hearing, The New York Times published an article written by Leslie Wayne and William K. Rashbaum entitled Investigation Into Madoff Fraud Turns to a Small Circle of Accountants. This article discloses that a number of investigative agencies are making inquiries into Friehling & Horowitz, Sosnick Bell, Konigsberg Wolf & Company and Avellion & Bienes. Apparently Paul Konigsberg and Steven Mendelow, both affiliated with Konigsberg Wolf, have been subpoenaed for more information about their relationships and involvement with Bernie Madoff's fraud scheme.

In this article, Lars Toomre and Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") were quoted. The specific quote was: “Who takes their accountant on a ski trip?” said Lars Toomre, head of Toomre Capital Markets, a Greenwich, Conn., financial risk analysis firm that maintains a Web site on the Madoff scandal. “Konigsberg is always around Madoff.” (For those visitors to this website looking for more information, feel free to click one of the many links that will take you to further information.)

As TCM has written previously on this website, it is extremely unlikely that Bernie Madoff committed this massive fraud over more than twenty years without the help of others. We are likely to read in the coming weeks and months that Madoff's accountants either willingly assisted Madoff or turned a blind eye to his supposedly amazingly consistent returns. What is really amazing is that all of the accountants associated with Madoff have claimed through their lawyers that they lost "millions" in the Madoff fraud.

Has anyone paused to ask how modest accountants of rather middle-class means somehow accumulated millions of dollars through their professional services work? Toomre Capital Markets LLC is not familiar with many accountants or CPAs who became multi-millionaires through their professional work. Are you? What were the sources of the "millions" of dollars that they supposedly subsequently lost in the Madoff investment pool?

Markopolos Testimony And Bernie Madoff Customer List

Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") has been consumed during the few weeks doing the "real" work of our consulting company — that is serving the needs of our paying clients. As a result, with client projects occupying so much of our working day, we have had little spare time to focus further on the Bernie Madoff fraud scandal. Hence, TCM's postings on this subject have been lighter than usual and the moderated comments have not been addressed as quickly as usual.

Please bear with us as the work crunch continues a bit longer. However, even at this early hour of the morning of Thursday February 5th 2009, TCM would like to highlight two pretty remarkable events that have occurred in the past day with regard to the Bernie Madoff affair. The first concerns the quite amazing and frank testimony of Harry Markopolos in both his written testimony and his oral remarks and answers. How could anyone not admire a man long on the tail of the Bernie Madoff? And how could one not come away with a heady admiration of the way that he thoroughly dissected the regulatory failures that allowed the Madoff affair to thrive for so long?

Mr. Markopolos' written testimony is a must read!!! And in his oral testimony, he stated that there are maybe another dozen Madoff "feeder funds" lying in the weeds not yet willing to disclose their near complete losses? Who might those European funds might be? Toomre Capital Markets LLC intends to return to Mr. Markopolos' testimony in the next few days when there is a bit more free time. In the meantime, definitely read what the mainstream media has to say about the unheard Madoff whistle-blower and his Congressional testimony.

The second item that TCM would like to briefly highlight is the document that AlixPartners LLP, a Dallas company hired as the claims agent by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. That document was filed in New York federal court on February 4th and contains approximately 13,000 people and/or entities that have thus far been identified as either having had an active account with Bernie Madoff at the time of his arrest or had previously done so. This list of information is truly fascinating!!!

Bernie Madoff's 2004 Zermatt Ski Trip

Nina Mehta is a New York-based reporter who writes about trading, the markets, and market structure for her employer Traders Magazine. In her "spare" time she periodically posts to her personal blog called Mehtafiscal. On Thursday January 29th 2009 Nina wrote a long post entitled Loyalty on the Slopes: Madoff Goes Skiing in 2004. This well-written article focuses on a 2004 ski trip to Zermatt Switzerland during which Bernie Madoff (and his wife Ruth Madoff) and Peter Madoff (and his wife Marion Madoff) hosted approximately thirteen friends and/or business associates. Most of those present had ties to Bernie's fraudulent investment advisory business.

Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") encourages readers interested in the Madoff fraud scandal to read Ms. Mehta's excellent work. In that piece the reader will learn more about Maurice ("Sonny") Cohn, Paul J. Konigsberg (and his wife Judy Konigsberg), Alvin J. Delaire Jr. (and his wife Carole Delaire), Marja Engler, her son Steven Engler and his wife Laura Engler as well as Elana Flax and her husband Dr. Herschel Flax of Great Neck, New York. As Ms. Mehta points out, it is unclear whether the final couple on that trip, Jean-Pierre Michaux and Patricia Michaux, had any ties to Bernie Madoff's investment business.

Madoff Accountants and Steven Mendelow

According to this profile prepared by Forbes, Steven B. Mendelow is a Director of Iconix Brand Group Incorporated, a New York, NY consumer goods company in the Textile – Apparel Footwear & Accessories. According to this profile,

Steven Mendelow has served on our Board of Directors since December 1999. He has been a principal with the accounting firm of Konigsberg Wolf & Co. and its predecessor, which is located in New York, New York, since 1972. Mr. Mendelow was a director of New Retail Concepts, Inc. from 1992 until its merger with us in 1998. He also serves as a director of several privately-held companies. He is a trustee of The Washington Institute for Near East Studies and actively involved with the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation and the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Bucknell University in 1964 where he was elected to Delta Mu Delta, the national Business Administration Honor Society.

Konigsberg Wolf & Co. is a mid-size accounting firm in Manhattan and the same firm that employs one Paul J. Konigsberg as its senior tax partner. Paul Konigsberg also happened to sign the 2007 and 2006 Federal Tax From 990s for The Madoff Family Foundation, the same 990s that indicate there was a rather inordinate amount of trading. Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") wonders just what account and trade information was provided to this accounting firm to prepare these tax returns.

The Konigsberg CPA website lists Steven B. Mendelow as its only Principal and not notably as one of the firm's Partners. Perhaps this is because Steven Mendelow is the same individual who was sanctioned with Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes by the SEC in late 1992 for selling unregistered notes to investors?