The family of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary scored more than $3 million from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — and got to keep the cash even after that scam crumbled. A Madoff trustee sued the family of Steven Mnuchin in 2011 to claw back $3.2 million in fake profits they pocketed from Madoff’s con.
According to a complaint filed in federal bankruptcy court in New York, Mnuchin’s mother Elaine Cooper received $3,204,227 from Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, in which the former financier swindled nearly $65 billion from his Wall Street clients. It is the largest Ponzi scheme in American history.
After Cooper died in 2005, that money fell to Mnuchin and his brother Alan, who were named as defendants in the lawsuit.The brothers withdrew the dirty money from their mother’s Madoff account just months after her death, the complaint says.
Madoff trustee Irving Picard sued the Mnuchin family and many others to recoup stolen profits from the Ponzi scheme. But a federal appeals court ruled Picard couldn’t claw back money that was withdrawn years before Madoff got caught. The Mnuchin family kept the money, and Picard dropped the suit last year.