Nadel Partners Look to Unfreeze AssetsFeb 24, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Partners of accused Florida Ponzi scammer Arthur Nadel are fighting to get back more than half a million dollars in jewelry that was seized as part of an asset freeze. The assets were frozen after a Nadel investor claimed the partners used fraudulently-obtained management fees to buy the jewelry.
Arthur Nadel was president of Scoop Management, a Sarasota, Florida based company which managed six private investment funds. The funds managed by Scoop included Viking IRA, Valhalla Investment Partners LP, Viking, Victory, Victory IRA and Scoop Real Estate. Viking IRA, Valhalla and Viking funds were managed by Nadel under contract with his partners, Neil and Chris Moody.
Nadel disappeared on January 14, a day before he was to deliver a $50 million payout to investors. He left his family a purported suicide note, but it was always suspected that Nadel was alive and on the run. Money belonging to about 600 investors disappeared along with Nadel. Investigators say that those investors may have lost as much as $350 million.
Nadel turned himself in to the FBI in Tampa late last month. He has been charged with one count each of securities fraud and wire fraud. If convicted, Nadel could face a maximum of 20 years in prison on each charge. His case was moved to federal court in Manhattan, where he is currently awaiting trial. Nadel faces a bail hearing tomorrow morning.
As we reported earlier this month, the Moodys were named in a lawsuit filed by Nadel investor Louis Paolino Jr. Paolino’s mainstay fund, the one he thought would carry his estate through the turbulent late 2000s, was Viking Fund LLC, the Herald Tribune said. Paolino once ran Mace Security, the publicly traded maker of chemical self-defense spray of the same name. He had placed $3.2 million of Mace money, as well as his own, with Scoop. In May, he was fired by the Board of Directors of Mace, and the board tried to get the company’s money out of Scoop. Scoop did issue Mace a check for $1 million in November, but nothing more was ever returned to the company, the Herald Tribune said.
According to the Herald Tribune, the Moody's are partners in a Sarasota jewelry store that they had each loaned $375,000 to buy and sell jewelry. After Paolino's lawsuit was filed, a judge created a receivership to take over $675,000 worth of gems and jewelry held by the store.
But the Moody's are disputing allegations that ill-gotten funds were used to purchase the jewelry. On Friday, their attorneys filed an order to dissolve the receivership holding the assets. According to the Herald Tribune, both Moodys signed affidavits stating they were not trying to move, dispose of or conceal the assets they owned.