Associated Press. They were married 27 years and they divorced in January. But the courts in Bridgeport Connecticut have ordered Walter Forbes, former Chairman of Cendant Corp. to pay his wife Caren Forbes only $1 in alimony.
Walter is currently serving a 12 year sentence for what is described as “one of the biggest accounting frauds in history”, according to the Associated Press. It was not a wholly unusual case of spouses trying to “save” their assets from the reach of creditors, by transferring title to only one of the spouses’ names. In the Forbes cases, Walter transferred title to basically all of their valuables to Caren’s name, including a “chalet-style” home in Wisconsin, a mansion in Connecticut and baubles/jewelry worth in the millions. In the case of the Connecticut home, he only received $10 consideration for his troubles. Says the Associated Press:
Federal prosecutors won the right earlier this year to intervene in the Forbes’ divorce case, saying the timing of the split suggested they were trying to avoid paying the restitution. They noted that Walter Forbes sold the family’s nearly $6 million, 11,000-square-foot New Canaan mansion to Caren Forbes for $10 in 1999.
Caren Forbes, who filed for divorce in Bridgeport Superior Court in January, said their marriage was “irretrievably” broken. Attorneys for both spouses denied prosecutors’ allegations.
According to the divorce ruling, Caren Forbes will transfer ownership of the New Canaan mansion back to her ex-husband so it can be attached by Cendant and the U.S. government.” AP.
Rats. So that means Caren has to transfer title of the houses back to her husband and title to half the value of her baubles as well so that prosecutors can see to it that investors get their money back.
Ouch. Well, at least they didn’t mistreat Caren the way they did Ruth Madoff who only got her grubby little paws on about $2 million and whose husband will spend the rest of his eternity in prison. Caren will get a few million once she tallies her half of the baubles, and the two condos, the golf club memberships, and the rest of the loot. Plus, the 65 year old Walter only got 12 years in prison. He could conceivably be out in less than that (you know how these white collar criminals manage to get their time reduced all the time) and before you know it, they will be back in wedded bliss, living off the largess of the loot she got when they divorced.
So don’t cry for her Argentina.