Ruth Madoff Sued for $45 Milion

Ruth Madoff, wife of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, has been sued by a court-appointed trustee seeking $45 million in funds to compensate victims.

Trustee Irving Picard claims Ruth received $44.8 million in “fraudulent” transfers during the six years leading up to the bankruptcy of her husband’s investment firm.

Bernard Madoff has been forced to forfeit property to comply with a $170 billion legal judgment.

Ruth Madoff has not been charged with any crime.

Nadel’s wife wants home, credit for worth entering marriage

Peg Nadel, the wife of imprisoned fraudulent hedge fund manager Arthur Nadel, is petitioning a judge to allow her to keep her home.

Calling it the “only thing she has left”, Mrs. Nadel said she gets paid about $200 a week from Social Security and planned to live off the equity of her $266,000 home.

Courts presiding over Nadel’s case have seized much of the assets he earned – much of it illegally – in an attempt to repay investors who were tricked by the hedge fund manager who operated mostly in the Sarasota, Fla. area.

Arthur Nadel fled his Florida home, leaving behind his wife, in January and stayed on the lam for two weeks before finally surrendering to authorities. He has been in prison since his arrest and isn’t expected to suffer any less harsh of a punishment than fellow Ponzi scheme operator Bernard Madoff.

Arthur and Peg Nadel were married in 2001 and claims she is not being treated fairly regarding the wealth she had entering their union.

FTC Addresses Cemetery Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission has testified on efforts to oversee the cemetery industry.

Hundreds of plots have been found unearthed at Chicago’s Burr Oak Cemetery in an alleged scheme to resell plots for cash.

Similar claims of fraud have been filed in other cemeteries, prompting a congressional recommendation that the FTC regulate cemeteries.

Recommendations include adopting a set of minimum standards that all states must follow relating to record-keeping, burials and consumer protection.

Marshals Start Cataloging, Appraising Madoff Assets for Auction

Federal marshals are taking inventory of everything Ruth and Bernard Madoff left in their Manhattan penthouse and Montauk home in advance of an auction.

The contents of both properties forfeited by the Madoffs are being carefully cataloged and appraised.

A $7.5-million Manhattan apartment, a $3.5-million house in Montauk, and a $10-million Palm Beach home, including everything inside, have been forfeited.

Madoff’s yacht and other boats are also to be sold to help pay victims of the estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Suit Claims Debt Collectors Used Fraud to Collect Judgments

Tens of thousands of New York consumers had money seized by creditors using court orders that had been obtained by fraud, says the state’s attorney general.

Lawyers and debt collectors obtained more than 101,000 court orders that were improperly issued, allowing them to seize, on average, $5,474 from each consumer.

The collections agencies, lawyers and law firms named in the lawsuit all used American Legal Process, of Lynbrook, N.Y., to notify consumers of debt collection proceedings.

The lawsuit asserts that consumers were never properly notified, statements of delivery falsified, and were not given a chance to defend themselves in court; as a result, creditors won default judgments.

Madoff’s Accountant Charged With Securites Fraud

David Friehling, Bernie Madoff’s accountant for 17 years, has been charged with securities fraud.

The charges include aiding and abetting investment adviser fraud and four counts of filing false audit reports with the SEC.

Friehling, who was Madoff’s auditor from 1991 to 2008, has pleaded not guilty.

A federal judge has granted prosecutors more time to negotiate a possible plea bargain with Friehling.

Bank of America Buys Back Securities

Two non-bank units of Bank of America Corp will buy back auction rate securities from Colorado investors who were unable to sell them after the market froze.

The amount of the buyback totals $155 million.

The settlement concludes an investigation into allegations that the companies misled clients by falsely assuring them that auction rate securities were safe and liquid.

This settlement is the fourth that Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred Joseph has finalized.

Magnifier Manufacturer Settles “Made In USA” Deception Claim by FTC

A manufacturer of magnifiers and other desktop and portable vision aids has agreed to settle charges that it falsely claimed its products were “Made in the U.S.A.”

Enhanced Vision Systems markets computer and television screen magnifiers and other devices to enhance vision.

Because several of the company’s products contain a significant portion of foreign components, the “Made in the U.S.A” claim is deceptive.

For a product to be advertised or labeled as “Made in U.S.A,” the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States, according to the FTC.

Schwabb threatened with lawsuit over auction-rate securities

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said this week he’d sue Charles Schwabb & Co over the marketing of its risky auction-rate securities.

Cuomo’s threat will escalate into charges against the financial firm unless it follows the lead set by competitive firms. Citigroup, UBS and Merrill Lynch recently agreed to buy back nearly $50 billion in debt gained through the sale of high-risk auction-rate securities to investors.

Schwabb officials are quoted in a Los Angeles Times story as defending their marketing practices regarding the sale of these securities, which are touted as the complete opposite of what they’re sold as, a safe, cash-like investment.

Physicians must adhere to FTC law on ID theft by Aug. 1

Physicians face a tight deadline in adapting to a new Federal Trade Commission law regarding identity theft.

Regulators consider doctors as entities that regularly extend credit to customers or patients, and therefore must adopt a written policy for their business which guarantees a person’s identity is safe.

The American Medical Association and physicians are worried this new law will burden their offices with increased costs to administer this policy. It does not believe doctors should be considered creditors.

The new policy must show a course of action a physician’s office will take when “red flags” signal a possible theft of a patient’s identity.