Nadel, in need of an attorney, granted continuance

Alleged Ponzi scheme ringmaster Arthur Nadel has been granted a 30-day continuance by a federal judge in New York.

Behind tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills, Nadel needs a new attorney after his last team could not get his frozen assets in a state where he could make those payments on his bill in arrears.

The 30-day continuance on criminal charges of securities and mail fraud will give the former Sarasota, Fla., hedge fund manager time to seek proper counsel before facing these charges which will likely send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Nadel has been in prison since Jan. 27 after he re-surfaced in the arms of authorities following two weeks on the lam.

GAO Encourages Public to Report Stimulus Fraud

The Government Accountability Office is (GAO) encouraging people to use its FraudNet hotline system to report waste, fraud and mismanagement of government stimulus funds.

The risk of fraud and abuse grows when large sums are spent quickly, such as with the federal stimulus package.

The GAO is required to issue bimonthly reviews of how certain states and localities are using funds from the $787 billion stimulus program signed into law last month.

They can be reached via a toll-free number at 1-800-424-5454, the hotline page on the GAO website, and the email address

Fairfield Greenwich, Piedrahita Targeted in Madoff Scandal

Spanish anticorruption prosecutors are investigating Fairfield Greenwich as well as Andres Piedrahita in regards to Bernard Madoff’s funds that they sold to Spanish clients.

Piedrahita is married to the daughter of Fairfield Greenwich founder Walter Noel.

Analysts say Piedrahita played a key role in expanding the reach of the Madoff fraud by wooing wealthy Latin Americans and Europeans to invest in Fairfield Greenwich

Fairfield Greenwich has had anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of its assets with Madoff.

Piedrahita and Fairfield Greenwich are also the targets of at least three class-action suits by investors in U.S. who say they were grossly negligent in investing their money with Madoff.

Madoff May be Charged in UK As Well

UK prosecutors may be filing charges against Bernard Madoff.

About $1 billion was transferred last year between Madoff’s U.S. firm and Madoff Securities International Ltd. in London, according to the Serious Fraud Office.

The UK and US offices would regularly send funds back and forth to give the illusion that securities transactions were being conducted as part of the fraud.

The month before Madoff was arrested, the U.K. unit paid $2 million to Madoff’s wife Ruth.

New Jersey car dealer settles fraud charges

An Orange, N.J., car dealership has settled fraud charges that it falsified consumer credit ratings on loan applications.

Compass Dodge Inc. has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine and never do that again. If it does, the dealership will have to pay an additional $92,500 in fines.

Compass Dodge was acting in violation of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and Motor Vehicle Advertising rules, as well as Used Car Lemon Laws, according to N.J. Attorney General Anne Milgram.

By granting prospective buyers with loan terms they really could not handle, the dealership was taking advantage of the consumer and setting them up for failure in the near future when they finally realize the car payment is too much a strain on the household budget.

Mortgage Fraud Companies Hunted by Florida Attorney General

Miami-based Mortgage Crisis Solutions Association LLC – along with owner Donald Gillette – has been ordered to stop doing business, and their assets frozen.

The company is accused of charging homeowners in foreclosure upfront fees as high as $2,995 for loan modification services, along with a $450 monthly fee.

A lawsuit by the attorney general’s office claims that the company never provided the services advertised and also refused refunds.

A related company, Property Solutions Specialists, also is named in the lawsuit for offering legal services to clients, even though the company is not a legal services entity.

Gillette seems to have recently opened up another business – Nationwide Financial in Miami – to conduct similar scams, and had closed MCSA as well as PSS.

The state attorney general’s office has charged 40 defendants with criminal mortgage fraud charges since 2007.

Politician, dominatrix tied up in mortgage fraud scheme

A Suffolk County, N.Y., legislator and a Manhattan dominatrix are among people charged with operating a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme.

The scheme allegedly began at a Manhattan fetish club. Former politician-turned private attorney George Guldi oversaw fraudulent transactions which garnered him millions in profit.

Those involved in the scheme got mortgages for more than 50 Manhattan properties for fake buyers, collected the money from it and then never made a payment on them.

The straw buyers in the scheme came from clients at the dominatrix club owned by Donald MacPherson and Carrie Coakley. Coakley, according to NY Newsday, appeared in the documentary film, Whipped.

The couple offered payments of up to $10,000 to pose as these fake, or straw buyers. They then declared falsified credit data about how much money they made in order to get the loans for the home.

In order to buy one property, according to Newsday, the couple used husband-wife clients and said they were $45,000-a-month employees of their film company, Maximum Restraint Films.

AMA sues WellPoint insurance for price fixing

The American Medical Association, along with several other physicians groups, have filed a lawsuit against insurer Wellpoint accusing it of price fixing.

According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, the lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Los Angeles. This is the latest lawsuit against a major insurer for price fixing.

This current suit accuses WellPoint of using a corrupt database to determine how much physicians would be paid for out-of-network services. This network is called Ingenix and has been used by several other insurers.

The AMA brought similar charges against Aetna and Cigna. Ingenix is maintained by UnitedHealthcare.

The four companies settled charges with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo earlier this year on the exact same charges.

Cuomo called the Ingenix database “defective and manipulated.”

Madoff Brother’s Assets Frozen

Peter Madoff, the brother of convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff, has had his assets frozen by a New York state judge.

The judgment prohibits him from removing, transferring or encumbering any funds or property and requires him to disclose all assets he owns.

A $2 million lawsuit has been filed against Peter Madoff for breaching his fiduciary duty by investing his inheritance with Bernard Madoff.

Bernard Madoff is in jail awaiting sentencing on 11 counts. He faces as much as 150 years in prison.

Peter Madoff, who is also among the thousands who lost money with Bernard Madoff, has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Madoff Trustee Will Be Controlling UK Assets

Irving Picard, the trustee appointed to collect assets of Bernard Madoff, won power of attorney over the money manager’s London unit.

The trustee now has legal authority over London-based Madoff Securities International Ltd.

SIPC is conducting a broad investigation of the assets of Madoff’s New York-based firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Investigators have so far identified about $1 billion in assets, which will be used to compensate investors.