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Judge dismisses racketeering claim in marital asset dispute

A New York judge has dismissed racketeering allegations against well-known businessman Steven Cohen in connection with his divorce. The man was facing the allegations from his ex-wife after he was accused of hiding millions in marital assets from her. Even though the pair officially divorced more than two decades ago, their divorce-related legal battle seems to never end. Their legal battles have, in fact, lasted more than twice the duration of their marriage.

The man's 61-year-old ex-wife had received $5 million during their breakup. Her husband is now worth about $9.4 billion. The current suit was filed five years ago, as the woman alleged that her ex made big bucks on illegal insider trades and hid millions in assets. The racketeering claim and other allegations could have significantly increased her potential financial payout. The judge ruled that the woman had not proven that her ex engaged in systematic insider trading and bank fraud.

Still, the man's company is under scrutiny for financial violations. SAC Capital Advisors paid $1.2 billion to settle a case brought by U.S. Attorneys. That fine was related to insider trading charges. Cohen has not been formally charged, but other employees are facing criminal allegations.

The woman may not be through with litigation, however, as the court only threw out the racketeering claim. She can proceed with claims for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. Although many New York divorces do not include criminal allegations, it is possible to seek legal action if your spouse has unfairly hidden assets during property division. Consulting a qualified New York attorney may be beneficial if you believe your property division process was unfair, no matter the nature of your holdings.

Source: New York Daily News, "Judge lectures billionaire Steven Cohen, ex-wife over post-divorce court spats" Daniel Beekman, Jan. 27, 2014

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