Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Peter Madoff Agreed to Asset Freeze in December

We thought that the TRO freezing Peter Madoff's assets last week (see here) was big news. While it should have been, after the court refused to lift the freeze, Madoff appealed, and according to the WSJ, his attorney disclosed to the court that Peter Madoff had already agreed to an asset freeze with federal prosecutors in December of last year.

That makes for an interesting turn of events, but probably only interesting to litigation attorneys. Civil plaintiff moves to freeze assets of a defendant that the government has already frozen. While I do not know enough about the case, that should mean that the civil plaintiff's asset freeze is unnecessary and meaningless. Which is what Madoff's attorneys apparently argued, if the WSJ article is correct.

It is unnecessary, unless of course you are the civil plaintiff. Without your own injunction, you have no control over the disposition of the assets, if the government decides to "unfreeze" the assets. Apparently the appellate court agreed, and refused to overturn the civil plaintiff's injunction (or restraining order, the article is unclear.)

If anyone has copies of the court papers, I would love to see a copy - email address is astarita@beamlaw.com.

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