The $3 million Montauk home bought by convicted Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff in 1979 is in the center of his wife's dispute with government officials about the sources of her wealth. With her husband's sentencing less than two weeks away, Ruth Madoff must prove that the '$62 million in accounts, plus properties' in her own name are the result of a large inheritance or were somehow acquired before her husband's $65 billion scam began. The problem, according to Newsday, is that Ruth Madoff's parents left nowhere near that kind of money to her upon their deaths in the 1990s, and no one seems to be able to pinpoint when Bernie Madoff began his fraud. (The man himself claims it was in the early '90s, but who's believing him these days.) In addition to a Manhattan apartment bought in 1984, the oceanfront Montauk property, just down the block from Robert De Niro's spread, could easily be seized if Madoff is unable to show that her wealth came from hard-earned cash.
· Ruth Madoff Must Show Independent Sources of Wealth [Newsday]