Judge James Peck ’71 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, already busy presiding over the multi-billion dollar Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, is also now overseeing the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’s (SIPC) liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s fund. Before his arrest, Madoff allegedly confessed to employees that his “giant Ponzi scheme” may have cost clients as much as $50 billion, according to an FBI complaint.
The SIPC has called the Madoff firm’s records unreliable and estimates they could take six months to sort out.
Madoff’s investors or creditors could ask the court to form a committee to give them a formal voice, a question Judge Peck may have to consider as the case unfolds.
Judge Peck, the second most junior bankruptcy judge in Manhattan, was appointed to the court in January 2006, having previously served as a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel, where he worked in the restructuring and litigation practice. Before that, he was a partner in the reorganization and finance department of Duane Morris in Philadelphia.
Upon recently approving the sale of Lehman’s remaining parts to the British bank Barclays, Judge Peck lamented Lehman's failure.
“Lehman Brothers became a victim,” he said in bankruptcy court when he approved the sale. “In effect, the only true icon to fall in the tsunami that has befallen the credit markets. And it saddens me.”