UD thanks Roy Poses for alerting her to the civil fraud charges brought against Ezra Merkin today.

New York’s attorney general brought civil fraud charges against hedge fund manager Ezra Merkin on Monday, saying he duped investors by secretly steering $2.4 billion in client money into Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi fraud without their permission.

… New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said he ignored glaring red flags about Madoff’s investments in an effort to reap huge fees from clients.

Merkin and his Gabriel Capital Corp money management firm “betrayed hundreds of investors who entrusted him with their savings,” the lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court said.

… The lawsuit also said Merkin mixed his personal funds, including his management fees from his Ascot and Gabriel funds, with the funds of his management company. Cuomo contends Merkin used management firm funds for personal use, including buying more than $91 million in art for his apartment…

That last thing… the art thing. That’s mainly a huge number of huge Rothko paintings. World dealers are salivating.

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