On September 23, 2011, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts dismissed the lawsuit styled In re: J. Ezra Merkin and BDO Seidman Securities Litigation, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The lawsuit was filed in 2008 against Ezra Merkin, former non-executive chairman of GMAC LLC, by former Madoff investors including New York Law School and a pension fund that had invested a total of $18 million with Merkin.  Merkin ran a so-called feeder fund that raised money to invest exclusively in Bernard L. Madoff Investment & Securities LLC.  In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Batts held that Madoff leveraged his reputation to perpetrate his fraud for many years while some of the most sophisticated entities in the financial world (e.g., the SEC and Wall Street banks) failed to detect it.  She also found that Merkin did not deceive any of the investors who invested with Merkin, and ultimately Madoff.  The judge also noted her decision was in line with what other courts addressing these claims had done.  ("Merkin Funds Win Dismissal of Madoff Lawsuits," Reuters, September 26, 2011)