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Bloomberg: Those who took profits from Madoff investments may have to return them

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Bloomberg News is reporting that those who made money off of investments with Bernard Madoff might have to return those profits:

“Charities are looking at their legal options as regarding their right to recoup money,” said Mark Charendoff, president of the New York-based Jewish Funders Network, whose 1,000 members fund Jewish causes and are assessing losses from Madoff investments. “I don’t know that they’ve been focused on or are aware that they may in fact be at further risk of loss.”

Bankruptcy laws authorize a trustee like Picard to recover money that was distributed as part of a fraud and share it among the victims, LoPucki said.

“The purpose of these laws is to balance the losses among the various investors, but how that balance is supposed to be struck is not clear,” LoPucki said.

Under New York state law, which can be invoked for Madoff recoveries, a trustee can seek redemptions going back six years, said Tracy Klestadt, a New York bankruptcy lawyer.

In a similar case, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Adlai Hardin in White Plains, New York, ordered investors of defunct hedge-fund manager Bayou Group LLC in October to disgorge profits they’d taken out. Investors were required to pay back any gains they’d redeemed involving “fictitious profits.” Before the fraud was discovered, Bayou paid out more than $135 million, according to court papers.

And this is just a great, but scary quote:

“Right now there are Madoff winners and Madoff losers,” said Lynn LoPucki, who teaches bankruptcy law at Harvard University. “Before this is over there will be nothing but Madoff losers.”

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