Former wealth manager Bradley C. Reifler transferred $10.6 million in and out of his children’s trust accounts, a bankruptcy court trustee says, and illegally funneled funds to himself, his wife and his mother.
In a lawsuit filed Jan. 19 in federal bankruptcy court in Poughkeepsie, U.S. Trustee Marianne T. O’Toole accused Reifler of making fraudulent transfers. The complaint also names his wife, Nancy, and mother, Lisette Ackenberg, who served with him as trustees to the children’s funds, as well as two of his three children, the five trust funds and four limited liability companies.
“The defendants knew of the debtor’s massive fraud,” the complaint states, “at the time they accepted the transfers.”
The complaint was filed as part of Reifler’s 2017 Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation petition, in which he declared $5 million in assets and $43 million in liabilities.
Reifler was a co-founder of Pali Capital, a derivatives and fixed-income trading firm, and a founder of Forefront Management Group.
He reportedly lived a lavish lifestyle, spending $8 million, for instance, renovating a 144-acre horse farm in Millbrook, Dutchess County.
The new lawsuit is one of eight adversarial bankruptcy proceedings challenging his liquidation petition.
The trust funds, according to the new complaint, were set up to benefit his children, Kelsey, an art director; Paige, a fashion model; and Cole, president of Zenith Insured Credit.
Bradley Reifler allegedly controlled the trusts and used their bank accounts as his own.
Reifler failed to maintain records and he destroyed documents, before and after he filed for bankruptcy protection, the complaint states. He and family members have not produced trust documents, bank statements, inventories or tax returns that would explain the transfers or loans.
Reifler, according to the complaint, claims he invested some of the funds but he was unable to identify the specific transfers or describe the nature of the investments.
He also claims to owe money to his children and the trusts, but he has no records of the debt.
O’Toole says Reifler was insolvent as far back as January 2011, yet he transferred more than $10.6 million over the six years before filing for bankruptcy protection.
She alleges that the funds were transferred to avoid paying debts.
“Defendants were engaged in a course of action,” the complaint states, “intended to defraud debtor’s creditors.”
O’Toole is demanding that Reifler and his family account for the transfers and relinquish the funds.