Judgment puts Madoff payments on hold
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Friday 30 September 2011
Payouts that would have been mailed out today to victims of Bernard Madoff's investment fraud have been put on hold, after a legal judgment that may have blown a $3bn hole in efforts to recover lost money.
Irving Picard, the trustee of Madoff's collapsed investment business, is this weekend scrambling to appeal a Manhattan court ruling that dramatically limited the scope of a lawsuit against Fred Wilpon, the owner of the New York Mets baseball team, who, Mr Picard claimed, should have known that Madoff was operating a pyramid scheme.
Mr Wilpon is one of several Madoff investors from whom Mr Picard is trying to claw back money that they invested and then withdrew from Madoff before the trickster confessed to his decades-long fraud in 2008. The Manhattan court said only those who were "willfully blind" to the fraud should have to return money they took out before 2006.
Mr Picard said that the ruling, if it is not overturned by a higher court, could limit several similar lawsuits.
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