Reader IL sends along this arbitration award: $1.8 million against a Madoff feeder fund. Not Walter’s and his Fairfield Greenwich Group, but same cause of action, same facts. The old homestead on Round Hill Road draws closer to the auction block.
May 17 (Bloomberg) — An investor in J. Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners LP, a feeder fund for Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, was awarded $1.75 million by arbitrators who found Merkin intentionally breached his fiduciary duty by not disclosing Madoff’s role in the fund, according to a court filing.
Merkin also was negligent in performing due diligence on Madoff, a majority of an arbitration panel found, according to a petition filed today in New York state court. Investor Noel Wiederhorn, who put $1.46 million into Ascot Partners in 2003 and 2004, is seeking a judgment confirming the award, which was for the amount he invested plus interest.
Wiederhorn, a Wycoff, New Jersey, pediatrician, also asked that the sealed record of the arbitration case be made public.
“These findings could have significance in later litigation and arbitrations against Mr. Merkin as well as against numerous other Madoff feeder-fund managers,” Weiderhorn’s attorney, David Bamberger, wrote in asking for the record to be unsealed.
The evidence showed “major contradictions and ambiguities” in transaction confirmations, which should have caused Merkin to question the Madoff trades, according to his filing. The evidence in the hearing also established the “extreme improbability” of the transactions Madoff reported in the over-the-counter options market, the papers said.
In Monica's closet
But this story sounds suspicious. Walt, you need a loan? Call me; what are friends for?
Greenwich woman twice avoids being a victim of telephone scams
By Frank MacEachern
It was such a convincing telephone call that a Greenwich woman thought she was talking to a grandson locked up in a Canadian jail cell on a drunk-driving charge.
But it was a scam, and the woman’s natural caution prevented her from losing almost $3,000 as she called his parents immediately and discovered her grandson was still at home.
“His voice was muffled and it was hard to hear him,” [emphasis added] the woman said about the Monday telephone call. “He said he went to a Greek wedding in Canada and he was stopped by police after he left it.” The woman, citing fears for her safety, declined to be identified.
The man said he needed $2,800 to get out of jail and asked the woman to wire the money to him. The woman refused and told him to call his parents. She then called police.
It wasn’t the first time she was the target of scammers, the woman said.
Two months ago someone purporting to be from her bank’s credit card division asked if she had made a $5,000 purchase that day. When she said she hadn’t, the caller told her to speak with someone in security and transferred her to someone else.
The Times reports that Ruth Madoff is a pariah in New York society now.
Ever since prosecutors accused Mr. Madoff, 71, in December of orchestrating a scheme that fleeced thousands of investors and foundations — including beloved charities, universities and the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel— Mrs. Madoff has been taking it on the chin. The reaction has been so negative compared with other wives in the same position partly, it seems, because her husband’s crimes grievously harmed individuals rather than a bank or faceless institution.
Her unusual closeness to her husband, too, in a world where wives are often on the sidelines is among the things working against her. Mrs. Madoff had been a director at her husband’s firm and had stood inseparably beside him through 49 years of marriage.
Then there is the lack of public contrition by Mrs. Madoff, and her move days before the scandal to shift $15.5 million out of an investment account and to transfer watches, cuff links and other jewelry to her children. One day after she left the Manhattan jail where her husband has been held, an ABC camera crew asked her what her message was to the victims. She said, “I have no response to you.”
Monica, clearly, you don’t want to be a Ruthie Ruth. Or the cheese that stands alone. When Walt gets put up in the Mews, expand your life – volunteer for something “Friends of Greenwich Point” has probably never heard of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, for instance. Those charities that have a “pay to play” policy, like the Boys and Girls Club or Bruce Museum won’t want you, but perhaps the Riverside Association can put you to work licking stamps. Don’t commit now, just think about it. After Walt’s tucked away in his Depends and bib will be time enough.
According to Cityfile.com, Walt and Monica are offering up their Hamptons place, $350,000 for the summer. We can look forward to seeing them around the Round Hill Club this August, I guess – reader Horsejock, who passed along this link, says that the poor Noels have now been turned for membership from both the Beach Club in the Hamptons and the Bath and Tennis Club at Palm Beach. They don’t seem to be welcome in Mustique, either, so it’s the 19th hole on Round Hill for them. Or failing that, Donny Romeo’s hotdog concession at Tod’s. Ronny’s not particular about who he serves. In the alternative, Walt can summer in a country that doesn’t recognize U.S. extradition laws and start a new career – he does have that degree from Harvard, you know.
Received an intriguing request from a London writer for well known publication, looking for information on the Noels:
“I’m focusing specifically on Ariane Noel, the sister that’s based in London, but any background on the way the Noels are now viewed in the US would be really useful!”
Anyone want to be an anonymous source? A named source? Except for you, Walter – I think you’re biased. If so, send me your dirt and I’ll pass it along back to the mother country. And anything on Andres Piedrahita would be gratefully received here – I have a feeling he may prove to be the most interesting of the entire Noel clan.
Reader Horse Hockey sends a Citifile link: yet another class action suit against Walter, his son in law Andres, partner Jeff Tucker and, of course, Fairfield Greenwich Group. No mention of Monica or the Fabulous Five though, and that must be a relief.
Monica Noel tries on new outfit
Besides, Monica rather likes the fashion!
(A reader just complained about this post being mean – I dug it up and think it’s still funny so here it is again – sorry, reader)
Earlier this week we reported that Kathy Fuld has stopped buying $30,000 of bedsheets a month from Greenwich Avenue’s own Lynnens. Now, courtesy of Page Six we can tell you equally startling news: Bob Jaffe, Bernie Madoff’s Palm Beach bagman, has stopped seeing his manicurist and is doing his nails himself. So naturally, in view of these stirring tales of self-sacrifice by the financially afflicted, we wondered how the Noel family was bearing up. A quick trip up to 175 Round Hill Road revealed the answer: with the help of caddy boys from Round Hill Club, Monica and the Fabulous Five are standing firm – they’re fit and rarin’ to go. Here’s one of the daughters now, getting a mudpack and a manicure. Does she look worried?
Thank you, Adolfo. Don't forget Mom's oats.
Judging from their family Christmas cards the Noels are an eco-conscious crowd, what with their African safaris and the bucolic vacations on Mustique. So they’ve probably been staying awake nights worrying about how they’ll be able to continue that mission while occupying “alternative quarters”. Relax, Monica, the warden’s taking care of it – the big new idea: penitentiaries are going green. See you round the compost pile!
Haven’t read it yet but Vanity Fair is out with its article on Walter and his Fabulous Five. Should be fun reading for a snowy day.
UPDATE: Just finished it. Surprisingly sympathetic, all things considered. The reporter must not have invested with FGG.
Good news! Walt’s been soooo concerned about all his friends and how they’re doing, so he’s really, really pleased to pass along this tip from Popular Science: Cat food won’t kill you! Bon appetit,
Monica and the Fabulous Five
Walt's going to the bank and then coming to get me!
Woman found living in tent in Swiss woods. Imposter took her place in Greenwich for 12 years! “We had to put her away, unfortunately,” said Penelope Strong, Noel family publicist. “Monica got old, fat and frumpy and just didn’t fit the image we were developing for the Fabulous Five. Still,” she sniffed, “I don’t suppose it matters now.”
That genius Bernie Madoff may have been too dumb to git while the gittin’ was good but Little Bernie, Art Nadel, apparently learned from the master’s example. His Subaru has been found at a Florida international airport and authorities think that Art, and his stolen money, may have left the jurisdiction. Hey, it’s only $350 million, barely enough to hire a bimbo to accompany you on a fly fishing trip to the Seychelles but it beats being cooped up in a New York penthouse all winter.
I’m just wondering why no one’s at the Noel’s Round Hill cottage. gee, I hope everything’s all right up there.
- “That’s about as funny as a fried horse, Monica.”
The Boys from Brazil are coming, and are they pissed.
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) — Brazilian investors lost “tens of millions” of dollars through banks that put money into Bernard Madoff’s funds, Folha de S. Paulo reported, citing David Rosemberg, a lawyer at Orlando, Florida-based Broad and Cassel.
At least 15 individuals and financial advisers in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and other Brazilian cities contacted Rosemberg about their losses, the newspaper said. The clients invested in some Safra banks, Banco Santander SA, UBS AG and Fairfield Greenwich Group and didn’t know their money had been directed to Madoff’s funds, the newspaper said.
“Brazil, out of all the Latin American countries, was probably hardest hit,” Rosemberg said today when contacted by Bloomberg News. “Banks were putting money into Madoff without understanding Madoff’s business. There was an element of peer pressure, everyone else was doing it.”
Fairfield Greenwich Group, Walter Noel’s hedge-fund that had $7.5 billion with Madoff, was sued last week for at least the third time by investors in the U.S. over claims it failed to protect their assets. Thomas Mulligan, a New-York based spokesman for the firm, said last week that Fairfield “intends to cooperate with all regulatory procedures.”
Fairfield Greenwich spokeswoman Bianca Haegler declined to comment, Folha said.
Cat got their tongue? That may not be all.
Timothy Geithner, Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, may have a problem with an illegal alien – housekeeper. Told that Geithner might be out and that there was now space for her husband to assume that role, Monica Noel was ecstatic. “Great!’ she said. “Walt’s a little off his feed right now but God knows we can use the money and honestly, can you truthfully say that anyone will notice the difference between his mental state and anyone else’s down in D.C.? And while it’s true that we had our own little problem with this issue,” she continued, “we shipped that wetback so far into Brazil that no one will ever find the ungrateful son of a bitch again. You won’t tell, will you?”
Mum’s the word, Monica.
Fox has a live video-feed of Bernie’s apartments’ garage, the better to see if he heads off for court (won’t he be late? Decision is due at noon, and I’d think he is supposed to be there to hear it). How come Greenwich Time doesn’t have a similar camera feed for 175 Round Hill Road? Shouldn’t we know what Walt and Monica are up to?
UPDATE: I don’t think he’s coming out; did he see his shadow? Nice touch: there are bars on the window facing Bernie’s (?) Mercedes. Perhaps he’s peering out from behind them, adjusting to the view.
Reader Welly sends this link to a NY Post story: Madoff scams own sister of $3 million. Her Palm Beach bungalow is now up for sale, her membership at the Palm Beach Club ($35,000 per year) in jeopardy. But she’s not angry: “Bernie’s Bernie,” she says philosophically. “Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”
Monica Noel, in the background during this interview, applauded loudly.
One founder of Access International Advisors, the French feeder fund that, like Fairfield Greenwich, fed every penny entrusted with it to Bernie Madoff, tragically committed suicide last week. The remaining partner has decided to face “life’s trials” (which will probably include the courtroom variety) by living on Social Security.
“I’m going to sell everything I have and start over,” Littaye said from Brussels, adding that he planned to subsist on his French social security payments. “For Access, we’ll go to our investors over the next couple of weeks and we’ll see what they think of us.”
Littaye’s partner, Thierry Magonde la Villehuchet, chose a different course. The 65-year-old co-founder and chief executive officer of Access was found dead Dec. 23 at his office in New York. Villehuchet killed himself after it became clear he wouldn’t be able to recover the funds he and his clients invested with Madoff, his brother, Bertrand Magon de la Villehuchet, said in a Jan. 2 interview.
“I will suffer all the trials that come my way,” Littaye said. “Thierry was less passive in his outlook. He felt that he had decision-making authority over his days on Earth.”
“I don’t know yet how our correspondents will receive us,” Littaye said. “Maybe as an honest imbecile, or an honest imbecile like 40 million others, or someone duped by a fraud. I don’t know yet.”
Noel should take some comfort from his many friends who have come forward to attest to his imbecility and too dumb to have joined Madoff’s game. There’s that and the thought that, at 78, he must have really racked up his Social Security pension by now – it might go as high as $800 a month. And of course, Monica can resume her career as a garment worker.
"Oh, Monica, how can you laugh? George is back to frying frogs and I'm sure puppies are next!"
For anyone who missed the story, George Lindemann Jr. is the son of one of the wealthiest men in the world, George Lindemann Sr., of Greenwich and Palm Beach. George Junior grew up in Greenwich and graduated from Brown but his heart was set on being an Olympian. To further that end dad bought his boy Cellular Farm (one of dad’s fortunes was made in cellular communications) in Armonk, New York, just up the road from Greenwich. Georgie proved as inept at managing a horse farm as he was at riding and dad eventually grew tired of footing the bills for a failed venture. “Make the place profitable” he warned,”or I shut the place down.”
Georgie was in a panic. He’d spent $250,000 of his father’s money on “Charisma”, a jumper that was supposed to bring fame, and a subsequent improvement in fortunes, to George and cellular Farms. But the horse was a bust. Rather than admit defeat or plead with his father for more time, Georgie hired a professional horse killer to come up to Armonk and electrocute his horse. If you aren’t squeamish, here’s how a horse is killed for insurance purposes: the killer takes a heavy-duty extension cord and cuts off the female end, replacing it with two alligator clips attached by a long wire. One clip is attached to the horse’s ear, the other to his anus and the cord’s plugged into a wall socket. The lights flicker, the horse starts to fry and eventually his guts blow up, simulating a fatal case of horse colic. Horses are big and rot quickly so their bodies usually don’t hang around long enough for an insurance adjuster to view the corpse. Instead, the owner either buries it immediately or pays the local large animal veterinarian to sign off on the cause of death and then brings in the bulldozer. So long as the killer is careful not to leave obvious scorch marks around the anus, no one complains too loudly, especially if the vet is paid handsomely for his troubles.
Georgie was convicted of his crimes. Sentenced to jail, he never attended – in fact, as far as we can determine, he never even endured a full body cavity search – there are some things you just don’t do to the son of the richest man in town. He has retreated to Miami, Florida, where he now poses as a patron of the arts, philanthropist and all-around decent good citizen. His parents, of course, are best friends with Walter and Monica Noel. What a small world.