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Lawsuit questions conduct of Madoff victims' lawyer

Lawsuit questions conduct of Madoff victims' lawyer
From Reuters - November 29, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new lawsuit accuses a lawyer representing hundreds of victims defrauded by Bernard Madoff of cheating her own clients through overbilling, discouraging settlements and having conflicts of interest.

The proposed class-action complaint was filed on Wednesday against Becker & Poliakoff LLP and Chaitman LLP over the alleged conduct of Helen Chaitman, who has been perhaps the most visible lawyer representing victims of Madoff since his December 2008 arrest. Madoff, 79, is serving a 150-year prison term.

We have no comment, Chaitman said in an email on behalf of her namesake firm. Becker & Poliakoff, her former employer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan by trustees of the Florence Shulman Pourover Trust, a defendant in a 2010 lawsuit by Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Picard, who has recovered roughly $12.8 billion for former Madoff customers, sought to recover $1.62 million of fictitious profits from the Shulman trust and other defendants that he said were derived improperly from Madoffs fraud.

In Wednesdays complaint, the Shulman trustees said Chaitmans self-promotion as a savior for other Madoff victims paid off with a large base of clients.

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