Today it is time for a post from the Annals of Securities Fraud. That is because Monday, December 11, 2023, marked the 15th anniversary of the arrest of Bernie Madoff in connection with one of the largest securities frauds in U.S. history. The scale of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme fraud is still, even after all of these years, just astonishing. Prosecutors estimated that the paper losses totaled nearly $65 billion, and have said they believe that the scheme defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries.  

What has been interesting in the scheme’s wake has been the efforts to recover funds to compensate Madoff’s victims. Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff’s firm, has recovered approximately $14.6 billion. And perhaps even more interesting, Picard’s recovery efforts are continuing to this day, 15 years after Madoff’s arrest, as reported in David Thomas’s December 12, 2023 Reuters article, here.Continue Reading Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme: Still Crazy After All These Years

In an interesting opinion, the Fifth Circuit has set aside a settlement and related bar order that had been approved by the district court in litigation arising out of the Stanford Financial Ponzi scheme scandal. The appellate court said that the district court lacked authority to approve the settlement in light of several of its features, including its provisions cutting off the claims of several former Stanford Financial employees and managers to the defunct firm’s insurance policies’ proceeds. As discussed below, the circumstances surrounding the settlement raise serious questions about the intended purpose of D&O insurance. The Fifth Circuit’s June 17, 2019 opinion in the case can be found here.
Continue Reading Who is D&O Insurance For?

In the recent Advisen quarterly claims webinar, when asked to make a claim prediction for 2018, I said that I thought we would see more cryptocurrency-related regulatory action, enforcement action, and litigation this year. Some might say I was not really going out on a limb with this prediction. After all, earlier this week, Jay Clayton, the Chair of the SEC, and J. Christopher Giancarlo, the head of the CFTC, took to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal to make the point that their respective agencies  are closely monitoring cryptocurrency activities and that the agencies will take action when warranted. That same day, the CFTC announced its third fraud enforcement action in a week.
Continue Reading As Predicted, Another Cryptocurrency-Related Securities Suit