PROBES

Prosecutors Target Madoff's Family

The family of fraudster Bernie Madoff is under fire. His sons, Mark, 45, and Andrew, 43, as well as his brother Peter, 60, are the target of a criminal tax-fraud investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reports, as well as a civil suit brought by the court-appointed trustee in charge of recovering assets for Madoff victims. It's unclear what alleged tax fraud federal prosecutors are investigating, although such cases commonly deal with alleged failures to declare income or false deductions, such as deducting personal expenses as business costs. David Friehling, who pleaded guilty last year to preparing false tax returns for Bernie Madoff and signing off on fake audit reports for the firm, is assisting with the investigation. All three men are former tax clients of Friehling. A separate civil suit filed in October by Irving Picard, the trustee, seeks $200 million in damages from Madoff family members who worked at the firm and alleges that Peter, Mark, and Andrew each withdrew $16 to $18 million from their firm accounts in "brazenly fabricated transactions." The civil suit also charges that the three should have recognized irregularities as evidence of Madoff's fraud.