Ex-Merrill Lynch chief cleared in trial over Madoff fraud

American courtroom

Former Merrill Lynch brokerage chief John “Launny” Steffens and his investment firm Spring Mountain Capital were cleared by a jury in a trial over a customer’s losses in Bernard Madoff’s $17.5bn fraud.

Bloomberg News reports that following a nine-day trial, a federal jury in Portland, Maine, yesterday found Steffens and Spring Mountain not liable on all claims made by former investors Daniel Goldenson and his wife, Suzanne, a clerk for U.S. District Judge John Woodcock Jr., who oversaw the case, said Thursday.

The Goldensons claimed New York-based Spring Mountain invested money in a Madoff feeder fund without their knowledge, resulting in losses. The couple sought the return of $4.8 million plus damages for mental anguish.

'The charges were utterly baseless and should never have been brought', David Spears, Steffens’s lawyer, said in an e-mail. 'Spring Mountain Capital made a large amount of money for the investors who brought the suit'.

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x-Merrill Chief Steffens Cleared by Jury Over Madoff Loss

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