Madoff Feeder Seeks Dismissal Of Investor Lawsuit

Aug 4 2010 | 2:48am ET

Bernard Madoff feeder fund manager J. Ezra Merkin at first did not succeed—in his bid to have the New York State attorney general’s lawsuit against him toss. But he’s trying again, this time seeking to have an investor lawsuit dismissed.

Merkin’s lawyers on Monday told a federal judge that the investors suing him are unable to show that Merkin, whose clients lost about $1.2 billion in the $65 billion Madoff Ponzi scheme, “knew about, much less participated in, the Madoff fraud.”

Furthermore, no part of their lawsuit “gives rise to any inference, let alone the requisite strong inference, that the defendants acted with a fraudulent intent.”

BDO USA, Merkin’s auditors, are also seeking dismissal of the lawsuit.

“It’s a desperate effort by Merkin and others to dismiss a well-pleaded complaint that demonstrates their abject malfeasance,” Gregory Nespole, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told Reuters.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has accused Merkin of steering $2.4 billion to Madoff while misleading them about where he was investing the money. Cuomo’s lawsuit alleges that Merkin poured almost all of the assets of his Ascot Partners and Ascot Fund, as well as about one-third of the assets of his Gabriel Capital Corp, without notifying most of his investors.

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