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The Madoff Fraud:Scam of the Century
New Zealand-registered companies are victims

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NZ-registered firms hit by Madoff scam 4:00AM Thursday Feb 12, 2009 By Maria Slade Three New Zealand-registered companies are victims of the alleged US$50 billion ($95 billion) pyramid scheme run by disgraced American businessman Bernard Madoff. Waipara Holdings, Ata Rangi Holdings and their owner Rothschild Trust New Zealand appear on a comprehensive list of clients of Madoff, released by the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The three companies' registered office is Parnell law firm Cone & Co, headed by international tax and trust planning specialist Geoffrey Cone. On December 11, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Madoff and charged him with securities fraud. The case may be the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person. Madoff has said that his business has liabilities of US$50 billion. Karen Marshall, a partner in the law firm Cone Marshall which operates out of the same Parnell offices, is also a director of the companies. She refused to comment and referred all queries to Mr Cone. A third local director, lawyer Ken Whitney, said he had not heard of the Madoff losses. Rothschild Trust New Zealand is owned by the Swiss-registered Rothschild Private Trust Holdings AG. All the other directors have contact addresses in Switzerland, Guernsey or Britain. Mr Whitney said he did not know who the investors were, but they were likely to be overseas investors who were taking advantage of New Zealand's favourable tax laws.
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