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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

G-Men Bid to Boot Madoff's Lawyer

G-Men Bid to Bounce Bernie Madoff's Lawyer From Case
The New York Law Journal by Mark Hamblett - March 4, 2009

A hearing is scheduled for today on the claim of federal prosecutors that the attorney for Bernard Madoff, Ira Sorkin of Dickstein Shapiro, is laboring under a conflict of interest in his representation of the accused operator of a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Southern District Judge Leonard Sand will hear from both sides on whether there is an actual conflict. If he finds one, he will then go on to inquire whether Mr. Madoff would waive any rights to claim the conflict affected the quality of his defense. It has been reported that one alleged conflict is that Mr. Sorkin represented two accountants in a 1992 case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The accountants were later linked to Mr. Madoff. Another reason for the hearing is that Mr. Sorkin's name was on a list of more than 13,000 client accounts in the bankruptcy filing of Bernard L. Madoff Securities. Mr. Sorkin told the Law Journal last month that the account referred to in the bankruptcy filing belonged to his late father and then his mother. The reason Mr. Sorkin's name appeared on the list was that his mother's mail was sent to his house for several years. "There is no conflict because I was never a client, customer or had any beneficial interest in an account at the Madoff firm," he said.


Anonymous said...

Hell, boot ALL the lawyers, including the judge. Move this case to Omaha.

Anonymous said...

These are not real conflicts. Courts routinely accept far more serious conflicts than what appears hear. My suspicion is that the case is not going very well for the prosecutors - notice the repeated delay in formerly charging Madoff. While the case appears publicly airtight it is frought with serious problems for the prosecutors. Remember Madoff gave himself in. As a result the prosecutors had no investigation going on this case. In effect other than Madoff "confession" the prosecutors had no idea what is going on. Second the shear enormity of this financial crime. Third, and the prosecutors don't want to admit these financial crimes often involve areas practice that they are not familiar with. The prosecutors have a number of goals that are clearly not being met. Obtaining convictions of others different from Madoff - its impossible to believe Madoff did this crime by himself. Find more funds for restitution to the victims and establish where were the institutional failures were and if they are any criminal involvement. This motion is a smoke screen that demonstrates that Sorkin is probably outmaneurvering the prosecutors leading to this motion of frustration as the only person they have is Madoff who gave himself up and they cannot meet their other goals. I don't expect this case to be ready for at least a year. It is an institutional embarrassment that this crime could go one for so long with no government entity be aware of it, even with the help of whistleblower.

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