Bernie Madoff's Future Daughter-in-Law Only Person to Profit From New Book (Report)

4:42 PM PST 10/31/2011 by THR staff
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Bernie Madoff

Some victims of the convicted Ponzi schemer are upset over the news, which comes as the family faces a multimillion-dollar lawsuit from the trustee appointed to recover money for them.

The family of Bernie Madoff won't profit from an upcoming book about the man who was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked victims out of billions of dollars -- but his future daughter-in-law will.

In fact, Catherine Hooper is the only person who will make money from Laurie Sandell's book, Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, which was based on interviews with Madoff's wife, Ruth, and son Andrew.

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Alexis Neely, who founded the Family Wealth Planning Institute, told ABC News that she doesn't know whether the move was by design or by chance but that it was a "smart" move, as Andrew Madoff is one of several family members facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit from the trustee appointed to recover money for victims of the investment fraud. (Bernie Madoff is serving a maximum sentence of 150 years in a federal prison in North Carolina.)

"If it wasn't intentional, it was a happy accident," Neely said. "But I would imagine it was intentional. It's definitely asset protection I would advise my clients to put in place in a similar situation."

But, predictably, the news is angering some of those victims.

"I personally do not feel that any profits from the new book should in any way go to Ms. Hooper, who is future Madoff family, or should any other member of the Madoff family benefit from this crime," said victim Lynn Sustaktold, whose retirement savings were wiped out after she invested with Madoff starting in 2003.

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Added Marcia Cohen, another victim: "All Madoff money should be donated to the real victims -- of course."

The suit, filed in October 2009, seeks at least $198.7 million from Madoff's brother, sons and niece. Andrew Madoff is named as a defendant because he allegedly has more than $60 million in fraudulent transfers from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Services. However, the family has maintained their innocence, claiming they were not aware of Bernie Madoff's fraudulent deeds.

Meanwhile, not all victims are upset about the news that the family won't profit from the new book. Bruce Hector, for one, told ABC News that he believes the family is innocent.

"The family has to live with their name the rest of their life," he said. "The Madoff name is going for the remainder of this century to be associated with scandal. And those kids have got to live with that. I can sympathize with that. If they make a little money on a book, who cares."

Added another victim, Neil Friedman: "I believe that the family, if innocent, has the right to make money telling their story in a book."

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Hooper and Andrew Madoff became engaged in December 2008, when Andrew and his brother Mark turned their father in to the FBI upon his confession to them of what he'd done.

That sparked a backlash against the two brothers, which prompted Hooper to reportedly come up with the idea for the book. Mark Madoff committed suicide in December 2010.

"Andrew, who'd been muzzled by his lawyers since the day of the confession, desperately wanted to tell his story," Sandell writes in the intro of her book. "Catherine was prepared to support him, as she had all along."

On Sunday, Hooper, Andrew and Ruth Madoff appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes to promote the book.

Hooper and the book's publisher, Little, Brown & Company, did not return a request for comment. 

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