Madoff trustee seeks $19.6 billion from Austrian banker
A prominent Austrian banker who portrayed herself for two years as one of Bernard L. Madoff’s biggest victims was accused on Friday of conspiring for 23 years to funnel more than $9 billion into his immense global Ponzi scheme.
The accusations were made in a civil lawsuit that sought damages of $19.6 billion — the sum of the cash lost in a fraud that wiped out nearly $65 billion in paper wealth and ruined thousands of investors on almost every rung of the economic ladder.
The central defendant in the complaint is Sonja Kohn, who was the hub of a complex network of European and Caribbean funds that channeled money to Mr. Madoff. A well-connected banker in her native Vienna, Ms. Kohn insisted she never suspected her trusted friend was running a global Ponzi scheme.
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