Middleman company tied to Madoff case

Tacoma News Tribune – Tucked among the hedge funds and the famous names on Bernard Madoff’s client roster is an unlikely group of about 800 people – strangers to one another, yet all listed at the same anonymous Denver address.

Now, they are discovering a painful common bond, shared with at least two previous groups of stung investors. For at least the third time in as many years, the company behind Denver PO Box 173859 has turned up as a go-between in a collapsed Ponzi scheme.

The address belongs to Fiserv Inc., which served as middleman for Madoff and scores of regular Joe-and-Jill investors: dentists and doctors, insurance salesmen and builders who trusted Madoff to manage specialized individual retirement accounts.

Their losses with Madoff, together with earlier cases, raise questions about Fiserv and the risks inherent in what are known as self-directed IRAs. These financial products are an increasingly popular way of letting people invest in real estate or small businesses and other less-traditional investments.

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