Husband Burned by Madoff Wants New Divorce Deal

He lost his share of settlement in Ponzi scheme
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2011 2:44 PM CDT
Bernie Madoff in a file photo. His Ponzi scheme has messed up a divorce settlement.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, file)

(Newser) – Bernie Madoff is messing up divorce settlements now, too. A husband wants his wife to give him back millions of dollars because he lost his share of their combined wealth in Madoff's Ponzi scheme, reports the New York Times. Steven Simkin and Laura Blank split up in 2006 and divvied up $13.2 million in assets. She took hers in cash, while he kept his under the care of Madoff. When Madoff's scheme went poof, Simkin filed papers to revise their settlement. His wife refused, and the matter has now reached New York state's highest court.

That's a rarity in the world of divorce settlements, and Peter Lattman writes that the state's legal community is fascinated. “The decision could open the floodgates for people who want to challenge agreements after they go sour,” says one divorce lawyer. “Deals are done every single day based on assumptions about what things are worth. If the court allows this lawsuit to go forward, how can we be certain that deals will hold up?”

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