Judge Keeps Nadel’s Assets In Deep Freeze

Feb 5 2009 | 12:31am ET

A federal judge has extended a freeze of Arthur Nadel’s assets, and order the accused Florida hedge fund fraudster to make an accounting of the money he made “managing” his six hedge funds.

Nadel, who is being held without bail and on Monday was order sent to New York to face federal fraud charges stemming from his alleged $300 million Ponzi scheme, did not contest the order, allowing a hearing scheduled for yesterday to be cancelled. The asset freeze covers the Scoop Management chief’s personal and business bank accounts, as well as property and other assets he controls or shares control of.

U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara’s injunction orders Nadel to make a sworn accounting of all compensation he received from his management companies and hedge funds, and to return any assets—either his or his investors’—currently in bank accounts overseas. The court-appointed receiver in the Nadel case has found at least one such account, in Switzerland.

Some of Nadel’s victims said they were disappointed that the asset freeze was not extended to Nadel’s partners, especially Neil and Chris Moody, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Scott Masel, senior trial counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that may change.

The fact that the injunction covers only Nadel “doesn’t mean we won’t come back and seek asset freezes against other people or entities later,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we will.”

Meanwhile, the aforementioned court-appointed receiver acknowledged a foul-up of his own that led to a Florida couple finding $120,000 of their money frozen.

Burton Wiand told the federal judge who had approved the freeze last week that there had been an error: Shaul and Annie Blumenfeld did not receive the $120,000 from a Wachovia bank check purchased by Scoop Capital, as the bank had originally told him.

When he learned “that Wachovia may have been mistaken and that the funds in the Blumenfelds’ account did not come from the account of Scoop Capital,” the receiver’s attorney immediately contacted the bank. Wachovia looked into the matter and found “that two $60,000 official checks were purchased with the $120,000 check drawn on the account of Scoop Capital LLC, neither of which was payable to the Blumenfelds.”

The money was returned to the unlucky couple on Monday.

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