After almost a year of denying any wrong doing in the Bernie Madoff Ponzie scheme, the Wilpons may now be off the hook as news has broken that the trustee, Irving Picard, has dropped the damages claim.
The Post writes:
Seven months after kicking off an aggressive campaign to collect $80 billion in damages from firms associated with Bernie Madoff, the trustee liquidating the Ponzi scammer’s firm is beating a hasty retreat.
Irving Picard, after running into howls of protest from the banks and other firms he claimed should have known about Madoff’s scam — and therefore are liable for damages on top of repaying phony profits, told a federal judge overseeing a protest suit filed by one of the banks, UBS, this week that he will drop the damages claim.
The decision marks a significant setback for Picard and potentially Madoff victims. By being forced to back away from his damages claim, Picard might be blocked from pursuing tens of billions of dollars in assets that would ultimately be distributed to Madoff victims.
This is kind of a shock considering how often Picard made it look like he had a convincing, open and shut case. The decision not to pursue over $2 billion dollars in damages, will affect all the claims filed against Madoff-related firms including Sterling Equities who Picard sought roughly $1 billion from. The Wilpons and Saul Katz have always vehemently denied those charges.
Picard made the decision to retreat from his damages claims after he was told “none of his claims would hold water in bankruptcy court.”
His entire case was built on the premise that “they should have known” with no evidence to support that claim. On it’s own, it was just words.