Tracking down the Billion$ withdrawn before Madoff was arrested
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About $12 billion was pulled out of accounts at Bernard L. Madoff’s firm in 2008, according to several people briefed on an analysis of Mr. Madoff’s business records. About $6 billion, or half, was taken out in just the three months before the financier was arrested in December and charged with operating an extensive Ponzi scheme.
Those figures offer a bit of hope for Mr. Madoff’s thousands of defrauded customers. Under federal law, the trustee overseeing the Madoff bankruptcy can sue to retrieve that money from the investors who withdrew it.
Indeed, the trustee, Irving H. Picard of Baker & Hostetler, filed two lawsuits on Tuesday seeking the return of a total of $6.1 billion, which he estimated had been withdrawn over the last decade.
One case seeks the return of $5.1 billion from various trust funds and partnerships run by Jeffry M. Picower, a prominent Palm Beach, Fla., investor whose charitable foundation was considered one of the notable victims of Mr. Madoff’s fraud.
Mr. Picard also sued to recover $1 billion withdrawn last year by Harley International, a hedge fund based in the Cayman Islands and administered by a unit of the Dutch bank Fortis.
Irving H. Picard
Both lawsuits were filed in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. And both assert that the defendants, as professional investors, should have realized that their profits were too high and too consistent — and Mr. Madoff’s paperwork and procedures were too sloppy — to be legitimate.
But the complaint against Mr. Picower goes further, accusing him of participating in a web of transparently false transactions with Mr. Madoff that were aimed at compensating him for “perpetuating the Ponzi scheme” at the expense of other investors…
It is not clear where the cash taken out of the Madoff accounts is located, or how much of it can be recovered through litigation…
Mr. Picard has raised about $1 billion in assets for Mr. Madoff’s victims, but the lawsuits filed in the last two weeks could push that number much higher.
Yes, politics is part of this. It always is. And the sleaziest and most cunning contribute to both wings of the institutional 2-party electoral fraud we’re saddled with in the United States.
People sit back and whine about countries – like Mexico – where a single party ruled amid corruption and thievery for decades – when fact of the matter is we have pretty much the same here in the GOUSA. We just have thugs in charge who are a bit more crafty and play this ideology game about “differences” between most of the creeps and cretins in charge.
They all belong to the same clubs and flock to the same feeding troughs.