...does the law need to be before We The People decide to take matters in hand? Bear in mind, this isn't a rhetorical question for those who were bilked by one Bernie Madoff:
Like some of Bernard Madoff’s clients, a Florida restaurant owner was lucky enough to withdraw part of his investment before the money manager allegedly confessed to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Now he’s worried he might be asked to give it back.
The 53-year-old investor, who asked not to be identified to protect his stake, took out about $600,000 this year from his $1.5 million account, using some of it to pay down a mortgage. He and other Madoff clients who withdrew funds as long as six years ago may be sued on behalf of other victims to return profits and even principal, securities and bankruptcy lawyers say.
While the article goes into it in more detail (and it's worth your time to read it), here's the long and short of it--if you were an investor in Madoff's Ponzi scheme, and you actually got any money out of it in the last 6 years, then you may have to cough it up.--even if that money is a portion of your original investment. Your only out is if you had no inkling that ol' Bernie was up to no good.
Yes, if you invested and then had second thoughts ("Gee, this whole deal doesn't feel right...no way could this guy be making this kind of money")--and you had what most of us would think of as the good sense to get out while you could--well, as we have said here before, "Nazzo fast, Guido". Our legal system is going to suck that money out of you on the principle that rather than anyone "winning", all must instead lose.
Google the phrase "anarcho-tyranny" sometime. Soon. You'll find the concept most entertaining.