Ruling Hinders Madoff Trustee Recovery Efforts

September 30th, 2011
in econ_news

picard Econintersect:  Manhattan U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff is putting a severe crimp in the campaign by Madoff liquidation trustee Irving Picard (pictured) to recover up to $100 billion for victims of the infamous Ponzi scheme.  The ruling this week curtailed to $386 million the amount that can be continued in a suit by Picard against the owners of the New York Mets baseball team.  Picard had sought $1 billion.  This ruling will have restrictive implications for more than 1,000 other suits that Picard is still pursuing.  Picard has settled other cases, recovering more than $10 billion to date for victims so far.

Follow up:

From The Wall Street Journal:

The decision on Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan directly applies only to a lawsuit filed by trustee Irving Picard against the owners of the New York Mets baseball team.

But lawyers familiar with the litigation said Wednesday that it curtails the scope of overall funds Mr. Picard can legally seize in the historic Ponzi scheme.

"He's going to get a lot less money," said Helen Davis Chaitman, a lawyer representing former Madoff customers being sued by Mr. Picard and a frequent critic of the trustee.

There have been others who have questioned the course of action taken by Picard.  In June, GEI News reported that Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, had called for a “comprehensive evaluation” of Irving Picard's handling of the liquidation of Madoff Securities.  Scott expressed concern that the “rights of those who profited from Madoff’s were being protected.”

Opposing views are held by others.  Here is a quote from a Wall Street Journal reader, from Wall Street & Technology, referring to the latest rulings from Judge Rakoff:

"A disgusting ruling - which preserves ill gotten gains. This will only teach people that they can get away with a Ponzi scheme if it's structured right - get all your profits out and pay your cronies/family before the two year window."

Sources:  The Wall Street Journal,  Wall Street & Technology and GEI News (here, here, and here – with more source references therein)

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