Madoff Trustee Says Defendants ‘Eviscerate’ Court, ‘Pervert’ Law

The liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm said people and companies he has sued in 247 actions are “eviscerating” the bankruptcy court and “perverting” the law by rushing to find new judges for their cases.

Defendants in lawsuits by trustee Irving Picard including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and the New York Mets owners have asked district judges to decide whether Picard has a right to sue them, and for how much. They seek an “escape hatch” from bankruptcy court, which Congress intended to handle such cases as clawbacks of money withdrawn from a Ponzi scheme, the trustee said yesterday.

Picard made the statements in a filing after Melvyn Weiss, the disbarred co-founder of the law firm Milberg LLP, tried to move a lawsuit to district court. Higher court rulings that challenged bankruptcy judges’ power, including in the Anna Nicole Smith case, have enabled Picard’s targets to try to get a hearing elsewhere.

“With the floodgates fully flung open, more and more parties are blatantly engaging in forum shopping,” Picard said in the filing. “Through this procedural gamesmanship, the Weiss defendants — along with the defendants in the 246 other actions presently before this court — are eviscerating the bankruptcy court’s nearly three years of hard work,” he said, referring to the start of the Madoff firm’s liquidation in 2008 after the con man’s arrest.

Read the full article here: Madoff Trustee Says Defendants ‘Eviscerate’ Court, ‘Pervert’ Law – Bloomberg.

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