Articles Tagged with Madoff Ponzi Scam

DOJ Distributes Another $695M to Over 27,000 Madoff Ponzi Scam Victims

A decade on the heels of Bernard Madoff’s arrest for running a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam, the US Justice Department has distributed another $695M to over 27,000 of his victims. This is the DOJ’s third payment to investors of the fraud, bringing the total amount issued to nearly $2B.

In a statement, the DOJ said that it plans to restore more than $4B in total to those who sustained losses in the scheme that went on for decades, harming investors from all walks of life, including:

Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC trustee Irving H. Picard announced that a settlement has been reached for $687M with Thema International Fund for its ties to the multibillion-dollar Madoff Ponzi Scam. Now, a court must approve the agreement.

According to Bloomberg, the “Irish investment fund funneled $1.1B” to the Ponzi scam that bilked thousands of investors, including those who were with offshore feeder funds, of billions of dollars over several decades. The $687M is representative of all the funds transferred from Madoff’s securities firm to Thema International prior to the former’s collapse, in addition to 19.26% of the withdrawals beyond that time period.

Thema International Fund belongs to a number of offshore entities with ties to Madoff friend and Austrian banker Sonja Kohn and the Benbasset family of Switzerland. Picard contends that Kohn and the Benbassets granted Madoff key access to funds as his Ponzi scam began to fail.

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Judge Orders Deutsche Bank Subsidiary to Pay $150Mfor Libor Rigging
A federal judge is ordering Deutsche Bank Group Services, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (DB), to pay $150M for its involvement in an interest rate manipulation scam. The London unit pleaded guilty last year to rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark.

The fine comes two years after Deutsche Bank settled Libor rigging allegations with US and British regulators for $2.5B. According to prosecutors, derivatives traders at the German bank and at other banks colluded together to manipulate LIBOR rates to preference their trading positions.

Libor rigging allegations are not the only claims that Deutsche Bank has been contending with. Recently, the German Bank reached a $7.2B settlement with the US DOJ over its part in the 2008 global financial crisis. Meantime, NY and British officials ordered Deutsche Bank to pay $630M in fines because of alleged money laundering that occurred in Russia.

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The estate of Stanley Chais has agreed to pay the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scam $277M to settle claims accusing Chais, a Beverly Hills manager, of enriching himself through the fraud while costing thousands of investors, including his own clients, money.
Chais was one of Madoff’s oldest friends and one of his earliest investors. When the multi-billion dollar scam failed eight years ago, however, Chais claimed he had been fooled by Madoff, too, and that he knew nothing about the fraud. Yet he and his estate have since been the subject of securities fraud cases related to the Madoff Ponzi scam for years. Chais died in 2010.
Now, his estate has agreed to pay Madoff trustee Irving Picard over $262M, as well as $15M to California’s attorney general to settle a class action case. Picard had accused Chais and his wife Pamela, as well as entities under their control, of allegedly making about $1B from bogus securities transactions conducted by Madoff’s firm. Chais also earned hundreds of millions of dollars as a money manager for sending his customers’ money into Bernard Madoff’s financial firm.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission wants the US Supreme Court to leave standing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s decision upholding Irving Picard’s “net equity” approach to compensating victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scam. Picard is the Securities Investor Protection Act trustee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Madoff defrauded investors in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam.

SIPA lets investors get back their “net equity,” and Picard’s formula for compensation is to calculate a victim’s net losses-how much they put in, minus how much they got from the failed brokerage firm. He then gives these net losers a portion of the available money. Investors that have net gains-meaning they took out more funds than they invested-must wait until the net losers are fully paid. It is these clients with net gains that are appealing the Second Circuit’s decision and contending that their losses should instead be calculated from the last account statement issued by Madoff’s financial firm.

The SEC disagrees with them. In fact, the Commission doesn’t believe that these Madoff investors should be allowed to appeal a decision that won’t let them receive payment for bogus Ponzi profits that were noted on account statements. In its opposition brief to the nation’s highest court, the SEC said the Second Circuit ruling was “correct” and doesn’t conflict with past decisions. It also said that considering the circumstances and the “relevant statutory language,” the “net equity” approach “was legally sound.”

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