Although a wide variety of surprising details have come to light as the Madoff scandal has been exposed, there has as yet been no reported connection between the scandal and Britney Spears—that is, until now. A handwritten complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan on March 16, 2009 raises a number of, well, colorful allegations involving Spears and an assortment of other unexpected persons.
The complaint (here) purports to be filed on behalf of none other than Bernard L. Madoff himself, whom the complaint further characterizes as "d/b/a Jonathan Lee Riches," who in turn is described as "a/ka Gino Romano, Inc." The named defendants include Spears, her ex-husband Kevin Federline and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Among other things, the complaint alleges that Spears is in possession of "1.6 billion of Ponzi money from victims of ours." Riches claims that he and Spears met on eHarmony.com in 1996 and that Spears "stole" his American Express Black card to "purchase her circus tour outfits." (You were wondering where she got those, weren’t you?)
The complaint links Spears in some rather unexpected ways to two of the most prominent names in the current financial crisis. First, the complaint alleges that Spears has a "secret affair" with Angelo Mozillo. Next, the complaint alleges that Spears has been visiting Madoff’s New York Penthouse for "secret affairs with Madoff" in return for Saks Fifth Avenue gift certificates.
Riche’s real objection to Spears seems to be that allegedly she has tattooed his name to her, um, back, which she allegedly displays during concerts. Riches seeks $20 million from Spears and a restraining order against Spears’s younger sister, Jamie Lynn, who allegedly has "threatened Plaintiffs with various unknown teenagers who are pregnant."
Riches (a/k/a Gino Romano) is a prisoner in the federal prison system. According to Wikipedia (here), he has filed over 1,000 federal lawsuits since 2006, against, among others, George W. Bush, Steve Jobs and Martha Stewart. Readers may recall a prior post (here), in which I described an earlier lawsuit Riches had filed against Madoff.
Indeed, this lawsuit is not even the first complaint Riches has filed against Spears. According to news reports (here), Riches previously alleged that Spears held him at gunpoint and forced him to commit an array of crimes. He also alleged that Spears forced him to pay for abortions, breast implants, cocaine and alcohol.
I certainly don’t want to seem like I take threats involving unknown pregnant teenagers lightly. But even though the allegations do have a certain entertainment value, somebody needs to take away this guy’s pencil.
I have in any event added this Riches complaint, along with a variety of other recently filed Madoff-related actions, to my register of Madoff-related lawsuits, which can be accessed here. I have to say that I never anticipated that I would be referring to Britney Spears on this blog, for any reason whatsoever. Just goes to show, you never know.
Special thanks to a loyal reader for providing me with a copy of the Riches complaint. Thanks also to the alert reader who previously steered me to the Wikipedia item about Riches.
Repeat After Me: Correlation is Not Causation: And speaking of unexpected connections, we feel compelled to report on the February 18, 2009 article "Regulators and Redskins" (here), which discloses the unexpected connection between federal government activity and the performance of the Washington Redskins.
The authors report "a significantly positive, non-spurious, and robust correlation between the Redskins’ winning percentage and the amount of federal government bureaucratic activity as measured by the number of pages in the Federal Register."
The authors’ explanation for this "surprising result" is that "a winning football team makes for a commonly shared source of joyous optimism to lubricate [the bureaucrats’] negotiations." The authors note however that they do not find the same correlation when examining Congressional activity "which we attribute to legislator loyalty to their home state’s team(s)."
Hat tip to the Ideoblog (here) for the link to this truly groundbreaking academic study.