Today, Judge Preska granted summary judgment in favor of Steven Cohen on fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by his former wife, Patricia Cohen. The case was originally filed in 2009 (see our previous coverage here) against Steven Cohen, the former head of SAC Capital Advisors. In the complaint, Patricia Cohen claimed that Steven Cohen had defrauded her during their divorce in the late 1980s by hiding assets using a Queens real estate investment.
Judge Preska rejected Patricia Cohen’s reliance on two affidavits from the 1980s to demonstrate the true value of the Queens real estate investment, noting that the affidavits were created in response to litigation and were thus unreliable. Judge Preska further noted that New York law requires a party to disclose the existence of an asset during divorce settlement negotiations, but does not create a duty to disclose an accurate valuation of that asset. Finally, Judge Preska found that the statute of limitations had run: the claim had accrued in 1989 when Patricia Cohen was first made aware of the existence of the Queens real estate investment during the divorce settlement negotiations.