Madoff Madness in the Estate of Kessel

Phyllis C. Taite, Florida A&M University College of Law


In Estate of Bernard Kessel, the court addressed whether a decedent has a property interest in assets held in a Ponzi scheme. The Tax Court denied two motions for summary judgment requested by the commissioner. As a result, the case will proceed and the estate will be permitted to argue there was no property interest in assets managed by Madoff Investments. As such, the gross estate should have zero value.