I’ve been sort of swamped lately and if I haven’t responded to your message, please try me again. In the meantime, here’s an interesting missive from someone who wasn’t impressed by Helen Davis Chaitman a self-proclaimed Madoff victim:
Saw your article about Helen you were so right I hired Helen in 1998 she took $100,000 from me just to review my case then filed numerous litigation against Chase Manhattan Bank and a bankruptcy trustee and then in 2002 abandon me (when my money ran out) to be put into a collusive fraudulent involuntary bankruptcy by a law firm she was supposed to be suing. She left me and my 3 children homeless and destitute. She is definitely NOT A VICTIM and absolutely knew what she was doing when she invested with Madoff. Donna Sturman
Links to various law suits attached. Contact me if you need them.
Sorry, little fellow, but I have to let you go
Madoff boys agree to asset freeze. I’m sure Hoops is an understanding sort of girl, but you can’t do much Seychelles fly fishing on five hundred bucks a month.
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — Andrew and Mark Madoff, whose father Bernard is serving 150 years in prison for the largest-ever Ponzi scheme, agreed to restrict movement of their own personal assets, not incur debt beyond $1,000 and give a monthly accounting of their expenses.
Peter and Shana Madoff Swanson, Bernard’s brother and niece, signed similar agreements with the trustee liquidating the con man’s estate, Irving Picard, according to documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
Picard, who is unwinding Madoff’s defunct investment firm and gathering assets to help pay customers, sued Andrew, Mark, Peter and Shana in October, claiming they spent almost $199 million of victims’ money and treated the investment firm as their personal bank.
The Madoffs said in court papers that they deny Picard’s allegations and dispute his right to restrict their assets. They are consenting to the asset freeze to avoid “the potential costs and expenses of the instant dispute,” which could prove “substantial,” according to the filings.
The asset restrictions prevent the Madoffs and their representatives from selling, leveraging, wasting or moving all their property that is worth more than $1,000, “except for wearing personal clothing and jewelry in the normal course.” The must also take “reasonable” steps to preserve the value of their possessions, according to the filings.
In addition, they agreed to disclose their finances to Picard within 30 days. Their monthly accounting of expenses requires them to document all items costing more than $500.
UPDATE: Pappa Bernie’s NYC penthouse is reported under contract. All that’s left to get rid of is the Florida property, and that’s going to take awhile.
Going once ...
Scam artists auctioning “Genuwyne Madoff art work” slapped upside the head by Blumenthal. “I checked with my neighbor and good friend Walt,” Blumenthal told FWIW’s Scusie, “and he admitted to me that none of this crap ever hung on his pal Bernie’s walls. So he promised to stop doing it.”
Phew! Another bunch of suckers saved from disappointment.
“It’s a scam within a scam,” said Philip Eliasoph, professor of art history at Fairfield University, who complained to Blumenthal’s office Thursday about the scheduled auctions. Eliasoph, who teaches about museums, auctions and the art market, said it’s a classic bait-and-switch tactic.
“The whole pretense is, it’s coming out of Uncle Bernie’s Montauk mansion,” said Eliasoph, a member of the state Commission on Culture and Tourism.
“People are so stupid,” he said. “This one in particular is egregious because they’re playing on the whole pretense of the Madoff fraud. It’s a fraud encrypted in a fraud. Most of what is being auctioned, if you showed up with it at the door of Christie’s or one of the other major auction houses, you wouldn’t even get in to see one of the specialists in modern or contemporary art.”
(Ankle monitor excluded)
The good news for Madoff investors: Bernie’s Montauk home sold for $9.41 million, nicely above U.S. Marshal’s asking price of $8.750. The bad news: winning bidder was Raj Rajaratnam.
Bernie Madoff’s Montauk house, asking $9 million, has already sold after “a fast and furious bidding war” to an all-cash buyer. That’s excellent news for most of his victims but can his biggest loser, self-described Madoff victim himself, Walter Noel, expect the same kind of action when he’s forced to sell his Round Hill home? Not a chance, for several reasons: first, he lacks the notoriety – Bernie was an evil genius, or at least evil, while Walt’s claim to be just a bumbling idiot is beginning to ring true. Second, the Madoff place is direct ocean waterfront. Sure it will be washed away in ten years or so, but there’s no way you could build in such a vulnerable location today and, until the sea does its work, the new owner will have the best views in town. Walter’s place is a tired old dump with a view of the road, period.
So sorry, Walt, but I don’t think you can count on the proceeds from 175 Round Hill doing much to get you out from under this mess. Have you checked the extradition treaty of Mustique?
Dealbreaker’s Bess Levin, the funniest financial writer (I suppose that’s what she is) working today, has a take on Bernie’s Montauk digs that you really should read. Levin uses some salty language that I don’t often use on this blog (so that readers won’t identify me when they hear me in public), but if your delicate eyes can stand it, feast on this.
Lots to come, and I hope one of them will be mine (I’m concentrating more on the Walter/ Greenwich side of the story because it’s more fun) but the Journal excerpts “Madoff With the Money” today. I particularly like this part where Peter Madoff, having known about the scam for at least 24 hours and spent that time discussing things with his lawyers and the FBI, announces that, to his shock and amazement, Bernie’s been arrested. It’s such a nice scene I may lift it and use it for when I have Walter admitting to his Round Hill Club investors that their money is gone.
Around 10 o’clock that morning, the boss’s younger brother, Peter, the number two in charge of the family-run firm— Bernie’s sidekick for some four decades— entered the trading room on the 18th floor and called for everyone’s attention.
His hands were trembling, and he needed to lean against a desk to steady himself. His voice was tremulous.
“I have some bad news,” he told the gathered workers. “Bernie’s been arrested.”
“He looked scared, teary-eyed, and everyone was suddenly in a state of shock,” vividly recalls one of those standing there, listening in utter disbelief. “Someone asked Peter what happened, and he said he did not know why Bernie was arrested, or for what reason—or whether it was personal, or whether it was business. He said he didn’t know whether it was for good, and he didn’t know whether it was for evil. (This was a claim that would later turn out to be untrue.) And he said, ‘Don’t discuss this with anyone.’
“When we found out later that day what Bernie had done, I remembered how sincere Peter had sounded that morning, and I thought, ‘In his next career he could win an Oscar.'”