FACTBOX-Madoff trustee's major lawsuits over epic fraud
Dec 17 (Reuters) - The trustee seeking to recoup money from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme is suing hundreds of individuals, banks and funds around the world that he asserts benefited improperly from the epic fraud.
Cases filed by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard seek a total of more than $50 billion, including a $19.6 billion claim against Austrian banker Sonja Kohn and associates.
Hundreds of complaints were filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York in the weeks before the statute of limitations expired on the two-year anniversary of Madoff's Dec. 11, 2008, arrest and collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Nearly $10 billion has been secured toward paying victims, mostly through settlements with funds and individuals, including $7.2 billion with the estate of Madoff insider Jeffry Picower.
The following are some of the notable cases:
* Picard sued Austrian banker Sonja Kohn and the bank she founded, Bank Medici, as well as Italy's UniCredit CRID.MI and its unit, Bank Austria, and 53 other defendants, seeking $19.6 billion. The trustee accused Kohn of having a central role in Madoff's crimes by operating a labyrinth of feeder funds and banks in Austria, Italy and Gibraltar. [ID:nN10108416]
* Picard seeks $9 billion in recovery and damages from HSBC Plc (HSBA.L) and its related feeder funds in Europe, South America and the Caribbean. [ID:nN05176110]
* The trustee sued Madoff friend and associate Jeffry Picower for $7.2 billion in May 2009. The estate of Picower settled for the full amount on Dec. 17, 2010, the largest single forfeiture in U.S. history, according to officials. Picower died of a heart attack in his Florida swimming pool at the age of 67 in October 2009. [ID:nN17100666]
* Madoff's primary banker for 20 years, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), was sued for $6.5 billion over accusations that it had "enabled" the fraud. [ID:nN02243347]
* Fairfield Greenwich Group hedge fund firm and individuals were liable for more than $3.6 billion, the trustee said. [ID:nN21145275]
* Picard sued Swiss bank UBS AG (UBSN.VX) (UBS.N) and some of its associates, saying they had collaborated in the scheme and were liable for $2.5 billion. [ID:nSGE6B7032]
* Seven banks were sued for $1 billion -- Citigroup Inc's Citibank (C.N), Natixis (CNAT.PA), Fortis Prime Fund Solutions Bank (Ireland) Ltd, ABN AMRO Bank NV, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria [BBVA.MC], Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) and Merrill Lynch, owned by Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) since Jan. 1, 2009. [ID:nN09227798]
* Harley International Ltd, a Cayman Islands-based fund, was ordered by a U.S. judge to pay $1.07 billion after it failed to defend itself against the trustee's lawsuit. [ID:nN10202684]
* Hollywood money manager Stanley Chais, sued by Picard for $1.1 billion, died at age 84 in September before the case was resolved.
* In separate lawsuits, Picard sued Madoff's wife, Ruth Madoff; his brother Peter; sons Andrew and Mark; and niece Shana for a total of $244 million. [ID:nN06272980] The elder son, Mark, 46, hanged himself in his New York apartment on the second anniversary of Madoff's arrest. [ID:nN11141319]
* Dozens of relatives of Madoff family members and former employees of the firm are also being sued by Picard's team of lawyers at Baker & Hostetler law firm. [ID:nN12166014]
* Carl Shapiro -- a 97-year-old clothing entrepreneur and friend of Madoff who invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Madoff since 1961 and withdrew even more -- agreed to forfeit $625 million. [ID:nN07292782]
* Legacy Capital, BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Khronos Capital Research were sued by Picard. British Virgin Islands-based investment firm Legacy, whose accounts were taken over by French bank BNP in 2004, received at least $255.8 million from Madoff's firm, according to Picard. [ID:nSGE6B609V]
* The trustee sought $205 million from feeder fund Cohmad Securities Corp, run by Madoff friend Maurice Cohn.
* Picard demanded unspecified recovery and damages from Tremont Group Holdings, a multibillion-dollar money-management company, owned by Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp. [ID:nSGE6B7032]
* A lawsuit was filed against Sandra Manzke and her family members, Maxam Capital Management LLC, and related funds seeking $100 million.
* Madoff Securities International Ltd, Madoff's London branch, and its directors were sued for $80 million in a joint lawsuit by Picard and British firm's liquidator in High Court of Justice Commercial Court.
* Fred Wilpon -- owner of the New York Mets Major League Baseball team, of which Madoff has been a lifelong fan -- was sued along with his firm Sterling Equities and other defendants. [ID:nN07292782]
* Picard sued Blue Star Investors LLC, an affiliate of private equity executive Thomas H. Lee, saying defendants had received $51.75 million from Madoff's firm, of which $19.67 million represented "fictitious profits." [ID:nN30292629] (Reporting by Grant McCool in New York, Laurence Fletcher in London and Martin de Sa'Pinto in Zurich, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
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