Monday, 30 May 2016
Last updated 2 days ago
Nov 21 2012 | 10:40am ET
Nearly two years after her husband ended his life, the widow of Bernard Madoff's eldest son is fighting to hold on to what he left behind.
Stephanie Mack has asked a federal judge to dismiss a $27.5 million lawsuit against her filed by Madoff trustee Irving Picard. And her lawyers are trotting out some novel legal theories in their bid to let her keep the money and properties she inherited from Mark Madoff, who committed suicide on the second anniversary of his father's arrest for running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.
According to Mack's lawyers, under the principle of joint tenancy, the New York apartment and Nantucket, Mass., home she shared with Madoff became hers entirely when he died. Picard has argued that both were purchased with proceeds from Madoff's fraud. In addition, a lump-sum payment guaranteed to her in a prenuptial agreement is an inviolable contract, her lawyers said.
A judge has already limited the claims against Mack, Mark Madoff's ex-wife and other spouses in the case; Picard did not sue Mack until May, and the deadline for most claims expired two years after Bernard Madoff's arrest, which was the day Mark Madoff hanged himself in the Manhattan loft now at issue.
Mack's lawyers say she "has nothing whatsoever to do with" Madoff's firm, where her husband was an executive, "much less a fiduciary role."