Articles Posted in Madoff Ponzi Scheme

DOJ Begins Distributing Payments to Bernie Madoff’s Victims

Nearly nine years after Bernie Madoff was arrested for running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam, the US Department Justice has begun to pay out distributions owed to his victims. The money comes from the Madoff Victim Fund, a $4B fund set up for settlements paid by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which was the bank that the Ponzi mastermind used, and the estate of Jeffry Picower, who was one of Madoff’s longtime customers.

This fund will pay back over 24,000 victims some $772M during the first round of distributions. Another fund, which is supervised by bankruptcy court, has already paid out over $10B to investors. Investors who will be paid by from Madoff Victim Fund are those that did not qualify for recovery under the bankruptcy proceedings.

NY Woman Pleads Guilty to Running An Investment Scam

Alisa Adler has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud. Adler is the ex-head of ASG Real Estate Services Group.

Continue Reading ›

According to a new study recently published in The Review of Financial Studies, the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scam not only bilked over 10,000 investors of billions of dollars, but it also caused many in the investing public to stop trusting the financial industry. The study is called Trust Busting: The Effect of Fraud on Investor Behavior.

Researchers were able to track the impact of the Madoff fraud outside of the investors who were directly impacted because Madoff, who is Jewish, worked primarily with rich, older Jewish investors. Assistant Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell Scott Yonker, who is a co-author of the study, describes the Madoff Ponzi Scam as an affinity scam in that it targeted investors who had similar backgrounds. That said, his victims included retail investors, wealthy investors, famous investors, celebrities, and various entities and financial funds.

The study found that once the Madoff Ponzi scheme became public knowledge, investors who either personally knew his victims or lived in the areas where his victims lived withdrew $363B from their financial advisers and placed their funds in banks instead—that’s almost 20 times more than the $17B that Madoff has been ordered to pay in restitution to his investors.

Continue Reading ›

Citco Group Ltd. has agreed to pay $125 million to resolve a lawsuit related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme. The plaintiffs in the case are investors of Fairfield Greenwich Ltd.

Investors in Fairfield’s funds sued Citco Group and others after Madoff was arrested in 2008 for running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam. Citco was a defendant because it was retained by Fairfield to monitor assets, as well as Madoff’s trading activities. The plaintiffs argued that Citco owed them a duty of care.

By settling, Citco is not denying or admitting to wrongdoing. It said that it consented to resolve the case to avoid further litigation.

The $125 million investor settlement is one of the largest with an administrator or custodian of a Madoff feeder fund. Fairfield placed about $7 billion with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Continue Reading ›

According to Richard Breeden, the special master of the Madoff Victim Fund, about 11,000 more investors who sustained losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam could recover some of their funds. He also said that the number could possibly double as the U.S. government assesses more of the claims.

Breeden said that as of the middle of this month his office had looked at over 34,000 of the more than 63,700 claims it had received from investors who were claiming $77.3 billion of losses. They are from 135 countries.

The Madoff Victim Fund is holding $4.05 billion in investor compensation and is separate from the compensation being distributed by Irving Picard, who is the trustee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. While Picard has been compensating investors who directly placed their funds with Madoff, Breeden is working to compensate investors who had accounts at feeder funds and other entities that then sent their money to Madoff for investment.

Investors who were bilked in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scam will be getting back another $93 million. Madoff Trustee Irving Picard said that Defender Limited and related entities have consented to give back that amount, which they received from investing with the Ponzi mastermind. As part of the agreement, the $93 million will be withheld from the over $422 million that Defender is waiting to get back for its own losses in the scam.

To date, Picard has gotten back over $10.6 million of investors’ $17.3 billion in principal. This is the latest deal reached between the trustee and a so-called feeder fund. These funds pooled investor money and then sent the cash Madoff’s way. Bogus returns were issued to the funds, which gave the money to their individual investors.

Picard contended that the parties behind the Defender fund were aware, or if not then they should have been, that Madoff’s company was a fraud. The $93 million is representative of all the money that Defender withdrew from its fund from its formation in 2007 until the end of 2008 when Madoff liquidation proceedings began. As part of the agreement, parties involved with Defender will cooperate with Picard to get back the $550 million. Picard has also reached deals with feeder funds Premo Fund, Herald Fund SPC, and Senator Fund SPC.

A Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judge says that investment advisers Larry Grossman and Gregory Adams must pay over $6.3M in restitution and fines for misleading clients who invested in hedge funds tied to Ponzi fraud mastermind Bernie Madoff. Administrative law judge Brenda Murray issued her ruling last month.

The two investment advisers are Sovereign International Asset Management founder Larry Grossman and Gregory Adams, who agreed to buy Sovereign from Grossman in 2008. The firm filed for bankruptcy four years later.

Per the SEC administrative complaint, Grossman did not know that the two hedge funds that he primarily recommended to clients were linked to Madoff. The Commission contends that Grossman violated his fiduciary duties to his clients when he neglected to conduct due diligence on the funds, which were run by a man named Nickolai Battoo. Grossman also purportedly did not notify clients that he was getting paid $3.4 million in consulting fees and referral money for recommending certain funds. After Grossman sold Sovereign to Adams, the former owner continued working in several capacities at the firm and never actually told clients that the sale even happened.

In a new round of payments by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC trustee Irving Picard, victims of the $17 billion Madoff Ponzi Scam are slated to receive around $349 million. The US Bankruptcy Court in New York must still approve the distribution, which would bring total payouts to $6 billion-34% of the principal lost.

A hearing for the distributions is scheduled in April. Payouts by Picard include up to $500,000 in advances each to victims that were made by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. Picard said that he hope to give victims full reimbursements.

One way he is doing this is by pursuing claims of approximately $3.5 billion from HSBC Holdings PlC (HSBA), UBS AG (UBS) and UniCredit SpA (UCG), which allegedly benefited from the multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam. In January, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) arrived at $325 million accord with Picard over allegations that the bank was negligent in not identifying the fraud and made money money from Madoff’s scam. Picard was able to recover $10 billion-59% of the principals lost by thousands of Madoff customers. The financial firm also consented to pay another $218 million to settle two related class actions filed with the help of Picard.

A group of investors that were victimized in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam has won the right to appeal directly to a federal court about a bankruptcy ruling that prevents them from factoring in the amount of time they invested with the financial fraudster as interest that they want back. According to the US Court of Appeals in New York, the plaintiffs met the criteria for a “direct appeal” so that they won’t have to go through the district court first.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland had said that “time-based” calculations might not be fair to creditors who are last in line for payments and that this could give a windfall to claims by traders even though they weren’t victims of Madoff’s scam. Lifland recently passed way.

Madoff’s victims want bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard to put aside about $1.4 billion to pay back interest they say they are owed. They believe that factoring in time when equating damages allows for inflation to be considered.

FINRA Issues Sweep Letters About Alternative Trading Systems

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has put out a new round of sweeps letters asking for more information about its review of alternative trading systems. The SRO’s Trading Examinations Unit is reviewing the off-exchange trading venues.

FINRA wants firms to provide information about how subscriber order flow is identified within the ATS, whether they are tracking the different kinds of order types in use, and where the ATSs orders are routed. Sweep letters let the regulator determine how to better focus its exams and discover what new issues may have arisen.

A district court has confirmed an arbitration panel’s $750,000 award to the Kay Family Revocable Trust in its securities case against Stone & Youngberg LLP. The trust sustained financial losses when its money was invested in the FutureSelect Prime Advisor II, which had most of its capital invested with Ponzi scam mastermind Bernard Madoff.

In its arbitration claim, Kay Family Revocable Trust claimed that S & Y failed to perform its requisite due diligence before recommending that the trust invest in the fund. S & Y rejoined with the argument that the trust had not succeeded in proving a causal link between the Madoff scheme and any alleged lack of due diligence. S & Y also argued it shouldn’t have to be responsible for the harm that the Trust suffered as a result of Madoff’s financial fraud. The brokerage firm even pointed to a federal district court ruling of a professional malpractice claim that concluded that “a simple ‘but for’ relationship between the claimed negligence and the injury” will not back up a finding of legal causation. S & Y also cited a decision by a federal appeals court that said it was up to a securities fraud plaintiff to prove that the loss it sustained was a foreseeable outcome of the alleged misrepresentation.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, however, concluded that the panel’s decision to confirm the award in favor of the investor and against S & Y was not manifest disregard of the law, but rather the application of the law to the facts the way it found them.


More Blog Posts:

Houston Securities Arbitration: FINRA Panel Orders Penson Financial Services, Inc. to Pay Boushy North Investments, Ltd. $500,000, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 11, 2011
District Court Wants to Know Why FINRA Arbitration Panel Denied Freecharm Ltd.’s Securities Fraud Claim Against One Atlas Financial Group LLC, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 11, 2011, May 31, 2011
Raymond James Must Pay $925,000 Over Auction-Rate Securities Dispute, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, September 1, 2010 Continue Reading ›

Contact Information