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Mukasey removes himself from Madoff investigation

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official profile; JURIST news archive] recused himself from the investigation of former NASDAQ stock market chairman Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] because his son is representing a top official in Madoff's investment firm, US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] officials said Wednesday. Mark Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor, works as an attorney with the New York law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani [firm website] and is representing Frank DiPascali, the chief financial officer at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC [archived website]. DOJ officials did not say when Mukasey found out about the conflict but did say that he was removing himself entirely from the investigation and would not be making any decisions on the case.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] filed charges [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] last week in New York against Madoff and his firm for an alleged $50 billion fraud scheme. On Tuesday, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox [official profile] said that he would launch an immediate investigation [press release] into how the fraud allegedly perpetrated by Madoff went undetected for so long. The SEC will also look into relationships between SEC officials and Madoff's family members, including Madoff's niece, who married a former SEC lawyer in 2007.

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