SEC Investigates Gibraltar Securities, Registered Under the Name of Sylvia R. Madoff, Mother of Bernard Madoff

SEC Action Against Madoff's Mother Gibraltar Securities, registered under the name of Sylvia R. Madoff, is one of dozens of firms investigated by the SEC for failing to file financial reports.

In the end she withdraws her registration; in January 1964, the SEC drops charges. According to reports in Fortune and The New York Times, Bernie Madoff's childhood friends don't remember his mother trading; the Fortune article hypothesizes that perhaps Madoff's father Ralph, who had previously been in trouble with the IRS, put his wife's name on the application. "Either way," the authors write, "one of Bernie Madoff's parents was involved in securities -- and got into trouble for it."

Accused Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff was not the first person in his close-knit family to run afoul of federal authorities. A broker-dealer firm registered in the name of Madoff's mother, Sylvia, was effectively forced to close by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission more than 40 years ago.

In August 1963, the SEC announced it was "instituting proceedings...to determine whether" 48 broker-dealers, including "Sylvia R. Madoff [doing business as] Gibraltar Securities," had "failed to file reports of their financial condition...and if so, whether their registrations should be revoked."