The Network for Investor Action and Protection (NIAP), a not-for-profit foundation founded by former investors of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Inc., is instituting a “large-scale effort” to help Madoff investors initiate legal actions against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for negligence in failing to identify and halt the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. NIAP informed Madoff victims that they have until December 11 to file the claims to start the lawsuit process.
“The SEC and IRS, through negligent actions and inactions, allowed the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Ponzi scheme to occur, continue and flourish,” said NIAP President Ron Stein, in a statement. “The result was an unregulated scheme that spiraled out of control, costing billions of dollars and wiping out the savings of thousands of individuals who believed they were investing in good faith.”
Dec. 11, 2010, marks the two-year date from when the Madoff fraud was disclosed, and persons wishing to sue a governmental body such as the SEC and the IRS must file a Notice of Claim form with the agency within two years of the date of the loss. NIAP says the agencies will then have a “six-month period to decide whether to accept or reject the claim, and from that point, formal lawsuits can commence.”
A recent auction in New York of Madoff’s personal belongings, like his bed, footwear, and personal clothing items, raised more than $2 million to compensate his victims.