Mainer files suit in connection in Madoff scheme

Posted Oct. 28, 2010, at 10:44 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine publisher who lost about $2.5 million in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal has filed a lawsuit against an investment firm he says funneled his money to Madoff without his knowledge.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, Daniel Goldenson and his wife, Suzanne, of Bremen, accuse John “Launny” Steffens and his investment firm, Spring Mountain Capital, of New York, of securities fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and nine other counts. Spring Mountain’s chief operating officer, Gregory Ho, is also named in the complaint.

Steffens and Ho issued a statement saying the Goldensons’ claims lack merit.

Madoff is now serving 150-year sentence for ripping off thousands of investors for billions of dollars.

The Goldensons claim that during a dinner in the fall of that year, Steffens advised them to move their investments to his new business venture, Spring Mountain Capital, and he later advised them to invest in a hedge fund known as the Ascot Fund.

Daniel Goldenson says he was assured repeatedly by Steffens, Ho and investment documents that his contributions to the Ascot Fund were performing well and were being managed through an elaborate, conservative strategy designed to bring annual returns of about 10 percent.

Instead, Goldenson now claims, his money was being passed through to Madoff without the Goldensons’ knowledge and without oversight by anyone at Spring Mountain Capital. Only after Madoff’s crimes were exposed in late 2008 did Goldenson learn where his retirement money had gone. He says he and his wife lost about $2.5 million.

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