Thursday, April 2, 2009

Real Justice

In 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real was given control over about $34 million in assets seized from Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered him to remit the trust funds to an institutional trustee for safekeeping while ownership issues were resolved.

The 85-year-old judge has not complied and has provided only a minimal accounting, a half-page statement that does not reveal whether or how much interest the funds have earned over nearly a decade. He mentions a $63,000 payment for trustee fees and $5 million in what he calls "other disbursements." It alludes to $98 million in purchases and $118 million in sales suggesting a gain of $20 million.

He has a history of controversy and has been reprimanded by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for misconduct and just last year was booted from three cases in four months for allegedly ignoring evidence and a host of other reasons, according to the WSJ.
Attorneys for the claimants have appealed to the 9th Circuit for a detailed accounting of the assets which could be worth as much as $50 million dollars.

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