A group formed to help the victims of fraudster Bernie Madoff says it will help his investors initiate legal actions against the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service for failing to “identify and halt” Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
The Network for Investor Action and Protection (NIAP) has informed Madoff victims they have until December 11 to file the claims to start the lawsuit process.
“The SEC and IRS, through negligent actions and inactions, allowed the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Ponzi scheme to occur, continue and flourish,” says NIAP President Ron Stein. “The result was an unregulated scheme that spiraled out of control, costing billions of dollars and wiping out the savings of thousands of individuals who believed they were investing in good faith.”
To sue a government body like the SEC or the IRS, a Notice of Claim form must be filed with the agency within two years of the date of the loss – December 11, 2010 is the second anniversary of the disclosure of Madoff’s $65 billion fraud. The agencies will then have a six-month period to accept or reject the claim.
Stein claims the “negligence and failure” of the SEC has been “well documented.” Particularly, he said, was in the report by the SEC’s Office of Inspector General. As for the IRS, Stein says that by approving Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities as a non-bank custodian, “the IRS violated relevant regulations wholesale adding legitimacy to the Ponzi scheme that has wreaked havoc on thousands of lives.”