French seize another Madoff yacht

Another prized possession of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has been seized, this time in the south of France.

French authorities on the Cote d’Azur chained up his $7m (€5.2m) yacht “Bull” at a marina in the exclusive Mediterranean enclave of Cap d’Antibes, between Cannes and Nice.

Bailiffs threw a heavy chain around the boat’s propeller after a court granted the request by French investment firm Meeschaert, one of the many former investors in one of Madoff’s funds that is now suing to get some of its clients’ money back.

Chairman Cedric Meeschaert said the firm “decided to act fast, so that the boat wouldn’t leave French waters.”

A warning posted by the bailiffs on the boat reads: “Important: Do not turn on the engines, the propellers are chained.”

It cautions that “major judicial problems” will result if anyone attempts to remove the boat.

Last week a Palm Beach mansion owned by Madoff and two of his yachts were seized in the United States.

Madoff, 70, is in jail in New York awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to swindling billions from investors in what could be the biggest scam in Wall Street history. He faces up to 150 years behind bars.

Prosecutors in the United States are seizing as much as they can of Madoff’s personal fortune, and have begun demanding millions of dollars in payments from his relatives.

Roughly 6,700 people have filed claims for a share of whatever is recovered. Thousands more are expected to come forward.

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