Cohmad seeks fraud dismissal
Cohmad seeks fraud dismissal
By Beth Healy
Globe Staff / August 25, 2009
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Cohmad Securities Corp. and its two principals have asked a federal judge in New York to dismiss fraud charges brought against them by federal regulators in the Bernard Madoff affair. Officials had said Cohmad and its principals should have known Madoff was a fraud, but the accused argued that they had no knowledge of his Ponzi scheme and that the government failed to lay out facts to support its case.

Cohmad, a New York firm that was partly owned by Madoff and used to have a Boston office, introduced many investors to the now-convicted swindler.

In a filing late Friday in US District Court in New York, Cohmad’s lawyers said the firm was merely a middleman, and had no more ability to discover Madoff’s fraud than regulators or customers: “The defendants were not the only ones who Madoff fooled,’’ the filing said.

The name Cohmad is a merging of the names Cohn and Madoff; Maurice Cohn was a longtime Madoff friend and neighbor, who helped start Cohmad, a broker operation, in 1985.

Cohn’s daughter, Marcia Cohn, also was an investor in the firm and a principal there.

Cohmad’s filing was made hours after one of its brokers, Robert Jaffe, filed a similar motion Friday to dismiss charges regulators brought against him, too.

Jaffe, who lives in Weston and Palm Beach, Fla., was a broker at Cohmad and previously worked at the brokerage Cowen & Co. with Marcia Cohn.

Jaffe had introduced scores of investors to Madoff but maintained he was a victim of the swindle.

His legal responses also said the government failed to provide evidence to back up its cases against him.
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