In a last-ditch effort to keep their client from getting what amounts to a life sentence this week, Ponzi scheme mastermind Arthur Nadel’s lawyers are pointing the finger at the former hedge fund manager’s partners.
Nadel managed three hedge funds on behalf of the father-and-son team of Christopher and Neil Moody, who were sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission but have not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Nadel implicated the Moodys in his $162 million fraud at his plea hearing in February, when he pleaded guilty to 15 counts of securities, wire and mail fraud.
Prosecutors have called for at least 19½ years in prison for the 77-year-old Nadel, who is reportedly in poor health. But the fraudster’s public defenders say that the government is trying to deflect attention from its failure to charge the Moodys.
“The victim letters make it abundantly clear that it was the Moodys, more than Mr. Nadel, who induced people to invest in the funds, who flogged these funds as safe, and who brought in the overwhelming majority of investors,” Nadel’s lawyers wrote.
“The government's inexplicable decision to allow Neil Moody, Chris Moody and Don Rowe to escape any criminal charges is a recurrent theme in the victims' letters," they said. "The government's vehemence in urging a life sentence for Mr. Nadel and portraying him as the ultimate paradigm of evil may, in part, be motivated by a desire to deflect attention from their own blinkered handling of this case."
A lawyer for Neil Moody called the letter “a last-ditch effort to try to spread blame around to save himself.”
“One thing that is vividly missing is any allegation that the Moodys knew Nadel was concocting a Ponzi scheme,” James Felman told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Nadel is to be sentenced tomorrow. His attorneys have asked for a sentence of just five years.