Ex-Madoff customers seek swindler's personal assets

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Some of jailed swindler Bernard Madoff's defrauded customers moved on Wednesday to try and get access to his personal assets and any other items that may have been transferred to his family or other people.

Papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in the civil case against Madoff, 70, asked a judge to include personal assets among those of his firm being gathered under the auspices of a bankruptcy court to pay back fraud victims.

A court-appointed trustee is winding down Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to find assets to sell to return money to thousands of his former customers. But there is no trustee of personal assets of the man who pleaded guilty on March 12 to running Wall Street's biggest investment fraud.

"The recovery of Madoff's assets which may have been been transferred to family members or third parties may be more easily recovered in a bankruptcy proceeding for Madoff himself, rather than less directly in the bankruptcy case of the Madoff securities firm," said Jonathan Landers, a lawyer for scores of Madoff customers represented by Milberg LLP and Seeger Weiss LLP, which filed the request.

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