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Wednesday
Dec082010

Deadline Looms for Madoff Victims to Recover Money

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The lawyer charged with recovering money for victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme filed suit Wednesday against Madoff's brother and sons and the London branch of Madoff's investment firm.

The suit is one of a flurry worth more than $21 billion that Irving Picard has filed in recent weeks as the deadline for recovering Madoff money looms. More claims could be coming.

Saturday marks both the two-year anniversary of Madoff's arrest and also the last day the bankruptcy trustee can file claims against companies and individuals believed to have benefited from Madoff's fraud.

In recent weeks, Picard has filed suits against hundreds of individual investors and big companies like JP Morgan, HSBC and UBS, which bring the total amount sought by Picard in the so-called "clawback" to at least $36.9 billion.

Wednesday's suit against Madoff Securities International Ltd. asks for $80 million, names Peter, Andrew and Mark Madoff, Bernie's brother and sons, as respondents, and claims that officers of MSIL used fraudulently obtained funds to pay for a yacht, the Madoff home in the South of France and an Aston Martin car.

Through the end of September, Picard had filed 19 lawsuits worth $15.5 billion against members of Madoff's immediate family, longtime individual investors like Jeffry Picower, and major feeder funds, including those operated by the Fairfield Greenwich Group and J. Ezra Merkin, a prominent Wall Street investment manager.

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