Madoff yacht seized; associate sued

PARIS — Another of Bernard Madoff's trophy assets has been seized, this time in the south of France.

French authorities on the Cote d'Azur have chained up his $7 million yacht The Bull at a port in the exclusive Mediterranean enclave of Cap d'Antibes.

The Bull was seized "just in time," said lawyer Philippe Rames of Gide Loyrette Nouel. "It seems that the people who were taking care of the boat were getting ready to move it to more accommodating waters," said Rames, who is working for a French investment firm suing to get some of its clients' money back.

In other Madoff news, New York's attorney general filed civil fraud charges Monday against a hedge fund manager who funneled $2.4 billion to Madoff without telling clients where their money was going.

The complaint accuses J. Ezra Merkin, the former chairman of GMAC Financial Services, of concealing his links to Madoff and lying to investors about what he was doing with their money, telling most that he was personally investing their cash in things like distressed debt.