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Client who lost $6M to pin-up ex-wife sues lawyer for advising him to put money in wife’s name

Posted Jul 17, 2013 4:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Facing a $2 million clawback suit by the bankruptcy trustee in the Bernard Madoff case, an Atlanta entrepreneur says, he sought advice from the New York office of Becker & Poliakoff.

They referred him to asset protection specialist Richard Cahan in the firm's Miami, Fla., office, alleges now-former client James Greiff in a recent malpractice suit, and, following Cahan's advice, he transferred some $6 million in assets to his wife via a postnuptial agreement. Three months later she filed for divorce, and at that point, contends Greiff in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court suit, the Becker special counsel abandoned him and began representing his wife, reports the Daily Business Review (sub. req.).

"This is the crux of the case," his lawyer, Jeffrey Badgley of Orlando, told the legal publication. "It's going to be the issue. Who was the firm representing all along, the wife or the husband?"

Although Greiff tried to invalidate the postnuptial agreement, claiming it was a sham, a divorce court in Florida upheld it in 2012, the article recounts. He is now reportedly penniless and living with his mother.

Cahan declined comment but his law firm called the suit meritless and said it intends to mount a vigorous defense.

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