NIAP Update - March 24th, 2014

Headlines:

• Garrett/Maloney’s HR3482 – Restoring Main Street Investor Protection & Confidence Act – clears 40 co-sponsors in House but well short of goal of 50% sponsorship on Financial Services Committee

• Stanford victims “celebrate” 5th Anniversary with strong round of Congressional DC meetings in support of HR3482 and S1725

• Trustee moving forward on clawback actions while arguments held on Trustee’s appeal of 2 year clawback limitation in Appeals Court

• Special Master Richard Breeden extends claim filing deadline until April 30th for “Madoff Victim Fund” claimaints

Dear NIAP Member & Madoff Investor,

The work behind the scenes in support of legislation continues vigorously despite intense resistance from SIPC and several Wall Street firms as the focus turns to the House Financial Committee for the grassroots effort. Meanwhile, the Trustee is now pressing forward with clawback actions, which is making the need for legislative relief all the more urgent, and in many cases desperate for many Madoff victims.
(click here to continue reading…)

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Legislation introduced in House & Senate, Hearings Big Success

• Garrett/Maloney’s HR3482 – Improving Wall Street Investor Protection & Confidence Act – introduced with 25 sponsors, bi-partisan
• Hearings tremendous success: SIPC’s Harbeck pounded by Garrett, Maloney, NIAP’s Stein, and Stanford Victim’s Coalition, Kogutt
• Senators Schumer, Vitter and Landrieu introduce companion bill S.1725 in Senate

Dear NIAP Member & Madoff Investor,

Happy Thanksgiving & Hanukkah Greetings. More than at any time since we began our organization, I’m reaching out to you today with a real sense of optimism about Congress. Not only was the new SIPC legislation (HR3482) introduced in the House last week with more sponsors than expected (and still more lined up), but a companion Senate bill – S. 1725 — was introduced by Senate Banking Committee member David Vitter (R-LA) just before the Holiday deadline. A major success was obtaining co-sponsorship by one of the most powerful members of Congress, Senator Schumer (D-NY). Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also signed on as an original cosponsor.

To make the week sweeter still, the Hearings held by Chairman Garrett (R-NJ), sitting beside Ranking Member Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)could not have gone better for Madoff and Stanford victims. Not only was Garrett masterful in his opening comments [link], his surgical interrogation of SIPC’s Harbeck during the questioning session was brilliant. I wrote my testimony to be very aggressive, and channeling attorneys David Bernfeld and Helen Chaitman, sitting behind me, did my best to unclothe Mr. Harbeck and lay naked his arrogance, rampant misuse of facts, and general defensiveness and lack of compassion [testimony link]. Feedback has been uniformly positive.

For Madoff victims, it was a good week all around!

Indeed, even indirect investors received the wonderful news from Special Master Richard Breeden who announced that indirect “net losers” would have access to the $2billion plus Madoff Victim Fund.
Side note: Sen. Schumer was deliberately careful to avoid focusing on the Madoff victims in his press release even though he has embraced the legislation. Once he and Senator Vitter return, coordination of Senate strategy and publicity will commence.
Realistically, even though our prospects are better than they’ve ever been before, we are in the 1st inning of a 9 inning game (which ends late 2014), and we are going to need all of you to help in any way we can.

You can help in three ways: your time, your energy, and frankly, your generosity. We are going to needs funds to command the necessary staff to organize and drive the massive grassroots effort we need to undertake to pass these House and Senate bills and get relief for Madoff and Stanford victims. I also want to affirm that this legislation will go back to provide full SIPC coverage to Madoff victims.

But most of all, we will need each and every one of you to step up and help in any way you can, through phone calls and letters. We can’t expect others to do it all.

I would also urge all of you to use these Holidays to begin to spread the word — hope is alive, progress is being made, and everyone’s help is needed.

In the coming weeks, we will begin the next phases of the grassroots campaign in earnest, and begin a fundraising drive. We look to all of you for your help and support: without that support, we won’t succeed. With your support, our chances have never been better!

I thank all of you who have stuck with this, have helped in the many ways you have. I wish all Madoff and Stanford victims, who have suffered so much to take some solace in this success and burgeoning hope, and that we relish what we do have as precious.

To all, a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Happy Hannukah.
In Peace,

Ron Stein, CFP
President, NIAP

Legislative Alert - 11/12/13

LEGISLATION TO BE INTRODUCED IN HOUSE,
HEARINGS SET,
BILL ALSO BEING PREPARED IN SENATE!

  • Garrett & Maloney to introduce legislation in House. Senator Vitter current lead sponsor in Senate
  • House hearings set for 11/21
  • Selective grassroots to commence
  • 5th Anniversary media needs victims willing to be interviewed by media
  • NIAP is excited to announce that SIPC legislation is to be introduced later this week or early next followed by Congressional hearings on Thursday, Nov 21. The legislation is to be jointly introduced by Congressman Garrett (NJ) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY). Similar legislation is expected to be introduced shortly in the Senate as well, consistent with the strategy laid out by Congressman Garrett in the last Congress.

    The intention is to have the legislation introduced by approximately 15 co-sponsors, and followed by an extensive outreach effort via Garrett’s and Maloney’s offices, our lobby team and our own grassroots efforts to ramp up sponsorship numbers.

    The specific bill language is still going through final stages, and a bill number and title will be finalized shortly. We will make the bill public as soon as we receive the final version. As you probably know, it prevents clawback of the innocent, insures SIPC payments to $500,000 based on account statements, and gives the SEC authority over SIPC.

    After hearings, the bill will be moved to a mark-up session in the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, voted on and moved to the Financial Services Committee.

    Next Steps on Grassroots. We will want to focus our House grassroots efforts on key Financial Services Committee members, as well as other influential House members, particularly those in districts or states with sizeable Madoff and Stanford victim constituents. Our Senate strategy will focus on Senate members on the Senate Banking Committee and other key Senate members.

    The first wave of Grassroots letters and communications however will go out to those who are sponsoring the legislation at introduction, thanking them for their support and encouraging their reaching out to their colleagues to do the same.
    Stay Tuned! In the coming days we will be providing more detailed information, as well as laying out the details for the grassroots outreach. We will also undertake a rapid fundraising campaign to assist costs of Congressional hearings and grassroots support.

    We look forward to working with all previous and current leaders in this effort as well.

    NIAP Update - August 6th, 2013

    SPOTLIGHT ON LEGISLATION:

    Behind-the-scenes meetings in DC with both Madoff and Stanford victims seeing strong support for SIPC legislation

    MESSAGE FROM THE NIAP PRESIDENT

    Dear NIAP Member,

    Greetings. We shortly expect SIPC action to begin in Congress. Certainly many victims have heard this sort of thing before, and Congress and uncertainty seem to go hand in hand, but the key elements are now in place for legislation to begin its march. With the House Financial Services Committee currently absorbed with the introduction and markup of its priority legislation to overhaul Fannie Mae (the huge PATH act), we anticipate that Congressman Garrett will introduce legislation in September. As you know, we and our Stanford victim partners (the SVC) have been working hard behind the scenes with an outstanding DC Team which is now helping guide our grassroots planning. While many of you have volunteered to help – something truly appreciated — it will be important for all of us to step up in whatever way we can and work together to build support in Congress. Specific grassroots strategy and steps will be communicated over the next few weeks. In the coming months, I’m confident that we will work together, support NIAP’s and the SVC’s efforts, and make important headway in getting the protections that we, and all investors, deserve. Thank you again for your patience, commitment and coming support.

    Ron
    (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - March 21st, 2013

    SPOTLIGHT ON LEGISLATION:

    Congressman Garrett Driving New SIPC Effort in House; NIAP, Stanford Victims Coalition Working Closely In Support

    Dear NIAP Member –

    The new year brings with it a new Congress – the 113th. We can only hope that the paralysis that marked the prior Congress will ease and permit bipartisan SIPC legislation to move forward in both the House and Senate. Despite the justifiable and extreme frustration experienced by so many Madoff victims, my feeling is that at no time has SIPC legislation had a better chance to move forward. Let me be clear – it won’t be easy: Madoff victims will need to work coherently – something we’ve thus far struggled to do, work effectively with the Stanford victims as part of the new Investor Protection Alliance, find the economic and staffing needs to manage an effective campaign, and generate national grassroots support at the appropriate time. The existing team of lobby and media professionals will need to remain in place. All this is doable, but we’ll be looking to all of you – both existing members, non-members and their friends to help move this boulder up the hill.

    Ron

    ALSO IN THIS ISSUE – THE COURTS:

    • Madoff and Stanford Victims Anticipate Garrett Timeline to Initiate Major Grassroots Effort

    • Judge Rakoff Rules District Court – Not Bankruptcy — Has Final Say on Clawback; Victims Still Await Other Rakoff Decisions

    • US Court of Appeals to Hear SIPC Lawsuit Against SEC in Stanford Case
    (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - June 22nd, 2012

    Legal Update

    Dear NIAP Member,

    In last week’s update, I brought Madoff victims up to speed regarding HR757, and its movement forward in the House Capital Markets Subcommittee. This week’s update will focus on the Court actions taking place. Legal activity is occurring on two major fronts: the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Net Equity, and the District Court before Judge Jed Rakoff, who will be ruling on various clawback-related actions. (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - June 12th, 2012

    LEGISLATIVE & GRASSROOTS UPDATE

    HEADLINES:

    • SIPC legislation moving forward as support gains in Congress
    • Grassroots efforts asked to step back and wait until legislation moves to markup
    • Request for those with close relationships with Congressional members (“Grasstops”)

    Dear Friend –

    I realize it’s been some time since our last update, sent out shortly after the March SIPC hearings. Don’t mistake the quiet for lack of activity, however, as a significant amount of activity has been going on behind the scenes the entire time and four co-sponsors added. We have not only been waiting for something substantive to report on, but we were asked to keep things close to the vest until the appropriate time. Thanks for your patience and efforts thus far and please know that NIAP has continued to work extremely hard on everyone’s behalf.     (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - March 20th, 2012

    Congress Holds Hearing on H.R. 757, Ron Stein Testifies on Behalf of Victims

    MESSAGE FROM THE NIAP PRESIDENT

    I recently testified on behalf of victims before the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. This hearing marked an important milestone in our advocacy and policy efforts congruent to H.R. 757. Below you’ll find a brief summary on the hearing and my testimony. For a full length summary, including comments of several of the Congressmen who understand our issue and continue to support innocent victims, please click here. While this hearing was a great stride in the right direction for sound investor protection, the crucial next step is to continue to capitalize on this momentum and surge our efforts. I ask you to join us in our grassroots letter-writing campaign urging Congress to pass H.R. 757. We’ve included all the information below the hearing summary that you need to fully engage in the campaign. (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - February 7th, 2012

    Third Anniversary Update, Part Three: Year End Media Headlines

    Note: House Hearings on HR757 tentatively scheduled for week of March 5th.

    Stay tuned….

    Media Highlights:

  • Media outreach increasingly successful in 2011.
  • Media hits slam Trustee’s fees – GAO now investigating Trustee and SIPC
  • Trustee denied right to sue banks
  • SEC fails to fire one employee after Madoff debacle
  • Media increasingly supportive of Madoff investors and attacking SEC, SIPC, and Trustee
  • Stanford & MF Global regulatory failures attracting media and Congressional attention
  • Summary of Where We Stand:

  • Greater support needed for success
  • NIAP seeking donors and volunteers as Congressional hearings approach
  • Message from the NIAP President:
    While the Courts have yielded mixed results at best in 2011 for Madoff victims, the Media has become increasingly supportive and is helping to drive public opinion and action in Congress. This is the third part of a Three Part Anniversary Update. (click here to continue reading…)

    NIAP Update - January 23rd, 2012

    Third Anniversary Update, Part II: Legal Landscape

    MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:

    The Courts have yielded mixed results at best in 2011 for Madoff victims. This is the second of a Three Part Anniversary Update. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read Part One – which focused on legislative action, while next week, Part Three will address The Media and Where We Stand.
    (click here to continue reading…)