On July 30,2011, New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera talked about the groundbreaking work of the Baker Hostetler lawyers involved with the SIPA liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Securities Investments LLC under the leadership of Trustee Irving H. Picard, bankruptcy partner, and his chief counsel, David J. Sheehan, litigation partner.
Nocera paused to take a look at the big picture in light of the recent ruling in Irving H. Picard v. HSBC. He reminded readers of the various types of suits the team has brought, and of the common sense logic of bringing “aiding and abetting” suits against big banks like HSBC, which funneled enormous sums of money into Madoff’s investment company although their own due diligence records say Madoff’s returns were “too good to be true,” or JP Morgan Chase—Madoff’s bank—which saw money flow in and out every day without ever being used to purchase securities.
Nocera praises Picard and his team for suing a large financial institution on the grounds that it helped enable Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
When asked why they decided to sue the banks, Sheehan replied, “This is the largest financial fraud ever perpetrated. It didn’t happen without enabling. Bernie needed a bank to facilitate what he was doing. When you see what the banks were doing, you realize that Bernie was as much a part of the financial fabric of Wall Street as any collateralized debt obligation.”
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