Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's immediate family is more than a little sketchy. But what about his parents? His mom was banned from being a broker and his dad didn't pay his property taxes.

His mother, Sylvia Madoff, registered as a broker-dealer in the 1960s, listing her home address in Queens as the office for Gibraltar Securities, Fortune reports. The SEC forced the closure of the business. Neighbors don't recall her working as a broker, suggesting the possibility that her registration was a front for her husband Ralph, Bernie Madoff's father.

The couple's house had a $13,245 tax lien which went unpaid from 1956 until 1965. The magazine speculates that the registration was a ruse to avoid tax authorities coming after a brokerage operation secretly run by Ralph. Bernie, born in 1938, would have been in his 20s when all this went on. Did he learn the business from his parents, who dies in the 1970s?

(Photo by AP)