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Paul Weiss Partner Calls $6.6M Divorce Settlement Unfair, Blames Madoff

Posted Feb 4, 2009 4:23 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A partner at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison is seeking to reopen his $6.6 million divorce settlement with his wife of more than 30 years, saying that he paid her far more than he would otherwise have agreed to because of fraudulent investment account statements from a Bernard Madoff firm.

Thinking, based on statements from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, that he had $5.4 million in an account he now describes as worthless, Steven Simkin agreed to pay $2.7 million to his now-former wife, Laura Blank, in cash in the uncontested 2006 divorce, reports the New York Daily News.

"Laura has been unjustly enriched, having received millions dollars based on an illusory and exaggerated value attributed to the 'account,' " he says in a Manhattan Supreme Court filing that seeks to renegotiate the divorce settlement and obtain restitution from his ex to balance out his losses in the Madoff account.

"Allowing Laura to retain her asymmetrically large portion of the parties' true assets would allow her to profit, at Steven's expense, from Madoff's fraud."

Simkin chairs his firm's real estate department.

See also "The best time to get divorced for the moneyed spouse is when everything has gone to the devil." (ABA Journal, January)


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