Madoff lawsuit gives a glimpse of the fraudster at play, and in the Big House


On Tuesday night in Manhattan Supreme Court, lawyer Joseph Cotchett filed additions to a lawsuit against bogus billionaire Bernie Madoff. In addition to offering glimpses about Madoff's business and his life behind bars, the new material alleges that numerous financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), KPMG, the Bank of New York (BK), and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance were complicit in Madoff's scheme -- or at least should have been more vigilant about protecting their customers.

Cotchett, who interviewed Madoff in prison, says the businessman's company rode high on the anything-goes spirit of the 1970s. The suit claims that Madoff put two street toughs on his payroll in 1975, tasking them with procuring cocaine for his office. They did their job well; some insiders allegedly referred to Madoff's headquarters as "the North Pole."