A New York lawyer who had invested millions of dollars with Ponzi czar Bernard Madoff filed suit in the New York State Supreme Court against his ex-wife last week for the return of a portion of their divorce settlement, on the grounds that much of the money she took never actually existed.
According to a Maddoff Investment Securities statement, when Steven Simkin and Laura Blank separated in 2004 after 30 years of marriage, they shared a Madoff account worth $5.4 million. As part of the uncontested divorce settlement, Simkin’s wife took half.
"Unknown to Steven and Laura, the ‘account,’ whose valuation was critical to the parties’ agreement, was a sham and fiction," the lawsuit said.
"Laura obtained a windfall and Steven did not receive an equitable share of the couple’s joint assets … It is only fair and equitable for Laura to shoulder some of that harm." –Reuters.
Because the divorce settlement allowed Blank to avoid the financial devastation that hit Simkin when Madoff’s Ponzi scheme came to light, Simkin is asking that the settlement be re-negotiated based on the former couple’s actual worth.