The securities law firm of Sonn & Erez has been hired by victims of Bernard Madoff, the head of Bernard Madoff Securities. Madoff has been charged with running what may be the largest Ponzi scheme in Wall Street history, allegedly costing $50 billion in investment losses.
In the Madoff Ponzi Scheme, Sonn will be representing both individual and institutional victims of Bernard Madoff.
"There are a lot of lawyers out there, but not many who handle Ponzi Scheme cases as often as we do," said Sonn. For example, there are victims who are "net winners," those who took out more than they deposited, and "net losers," those who took out less then they deposited, he explained. "Lawyers cannot represent both 'net winners' and 'net losers' because there will be fraudulent transfer cases where the net losers are suing the net winners, either by the receiver, or in separate actions," said Sonn. "We are only representing net losers of the Madoff Ponzi scheme."
"There may be situations where Madoff, his family, employees or close friends received monies that just don't belong to them, and they will have to give it back to the investors who did not take out more than they put in," Sonn added. Sonn also pointed out that there may be insurance available to pay something to the victims, such as those professionals who were supposed to audit the books, and coverage by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which is supposed to insure against theft by broker-dealers.
Sonn & Erez will represent victims to recover their lost investments via the receivership, and other legal action to recover stolen assets.
"Let's face it, self-regulation by Wall Street via the Financial Regulatory Authority FINRA, just doesn't work," said Sonn.
Ironically, Bernard Madoff used to serve on the board of governors of the NASD, the predecessor to FINRA, so according to Sonn, the fox was guarding the henhouse. “This should be a wake-up call to Congress to act and take away self-regulation," added Sonn.
"FINRA is supposed to conduct branch audits of broker dealers, and they should have caught this blatant theft long ago," said Sonn.
Jeff Sonn presently serves as special counsel to the SEC in a separate Ponzi Scheme case, and is lead class action counsel in another Ponzi Scheme case.