Business

Colombian ex-partner of Madoff denies responsibility in fraud

posted by Katharina Wecker

Colombia news - Piedrahita

Colombian investor Andres Piedrahita, former partner of infamous
Bernard Madoff, denied having responsibility in the largest fraud in
history.

After many months in silence and hearing accusations from all over the world for the loss of billions of dollars, Andres Piedrahita talked to Radio La W.

“The story that I was the main distributor of Madoff in the last ten years is false,” Piedrahita claimed.

The financier explains that he started business with Madoff in July 1989 when the latter invested one million dollar in the group Fairfield Piedrahita worked for. The business relations grew slowly and over the years, Madoff invested several million dollars in Fairfield.

“Despite not having a direct relationship with Bernard Madoff, people consider me to be responsible for the million fraud”, Piedrahita said.

“Of course I am responsible, like I think that the executives of the banks are [responsible] too. I’m not washing my hands in whatever. I only say that my responsibilities were not to manage relations with him. My responsibilities were to diversify the company and I did it with great success,” the financier explained.

After Madoff’s business was revealed as a ponzi scheme in December 2008, considered to be the largest investor fraud ever committed by a single person, Fairfield lost millions and millions of dollars. “We lost everything. We are one of the biggest victims,” Piedrahita said.

Although Fairfield is not legally obliged to, Piedrahita wants to return the money of thousands who invested their savings in the company.

“This is what we want to do … We consider it to be just to return the money we earned with Madoff during many years. Under British law we don’t have to but we consider it only to be fair,” Piedrahita concluded.

Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years on June 29 for operating the largest Ponzi scheme ever. He admitted to have defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars.

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