The super fraudster Bernie Madoff who pleaded guilty to have operated the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person, bought a $7 million luxury yacht in the South of France using cash channeled through his London office and had it registered in his wife’s name in order to filter money stolen from hapless clients, the Times of London reports.
Madoff pled guilty to an 11-count criminal complaint admitting to defrauding thousands of investors through a massive Ponzi scheme. He faces spending the rest of his life in prison, and up to $170 billion in restitution. The Italian-built Leopard, which “epitomizes luxury and comfort,” accommodates up to six people in cabins and is capable of speeds up to 40 knots. Madoff christened the yacht The Bull, an ironic reference to the then-booming stock market he was exploiting on behalf of his clients. In 2006 Madoff told his associates at Madoff Securities International in London’s Mayfair to transfer money to a French shipyard for a powerful 88-ft. Leopard motoryacht, alleging that their euro bank accounts would make the transaction easier. Madoff later transferred cash to the London firm’s accounts to square the difference, the paper reports.