Take note, aspiring Ponz. Masters:
She is more outgoing and warmer than her husband, business associates say, freeing Mr. Madoff to play the avuncular wizard. And that is just part of the role she has played in the success of Madoff Investment Securities. Her mere presence helped make Mr. Madoff the most reassuring of archetypes, the devoted husband, which had a way of pre-empting questions about his integrity.
"Look, I'm an ex-litigator and I can usually smell a crook a mile away," says Frederick Adler, a Palm Beach entrepreneur who invested a modest sum with Mr. Madoff in the '90s and withdrew the money when he pulled out of stocks altogether during the tech bubble in 2000. "But I didn't get any odor from him, and I'm sure she helped. He's got this pleasant, sweet wife of 30 or 40 years. Not some young chick. It somehow added to his credibility."