Articles Posted in Ponzi Scams

Annette Bongiorno has settled a civil case brought against her over the millions of dollars she and her husband received from managing Bernard Madoff’s investment advisory business and their investments with him. Her job under Madoff was to manage customer accounts. Prosecutors accused Bongiorno of making false securities trades. Now, she is serving a six-year-prison term for her role in Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam.

As part of the settlement, Bongiorno is obligated to help trustee Irving Picard recover funds stolen from investors as he continues to liquidate Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. To date, he has recovered or arrived at deals to recover $11.2B of the over $17B in principal that was stolen. Investors have gotten back almost $9.5B.

In addition to making herself available to Picard in his ongoing recovery efforts, Bongiorno must, when requested, provide testimony at deposition or trial. Picard, who is the one that sued her for over $22M, will drop the case as long as she continues to cooperate. As part of the settlement, she must pay $3.9M of stock from an account under her husband’s name.

Ex-Wall Street Executive Admits to Bilking Friends and Relatives
Andrew Caspersen has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges accusing him of defrauding relatives, friends, and Moore Charitable Foundation of $40M. Caspersen is an ex-Wall Street executive and a member of the wealthy Caspersen family. The charitable foundation he bilked belongs to billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon and his investment firm Moore Capital Management.

Caspersen, 39, pleaded guilty to one charge of wire fraud and one charge of security fraud. Each criminal charge comes with a maximum term of 20 years behind bars.

Caspersen’s defense team initially argued that he was addicted to gambling and suffered from mental illness, which were what supposedly compelled him to run his multi-million dollar Ponzi-like scam. His mother, close friends, the family of an ex-girlfriend, and others were among those whom he bilked.

Continue reading

At least 25,280 claimants who were the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme can expect to receive payouts for almost $4B in losses they sustained from the fraud. For these investors, they’ve been waiting to get at least some of their money back for nearly eight years.

It was in December 2008 that Madoff’s $64.8B Ponzi scam was discovered. It turns out that the 78-year-old money manager was an equal opportunity fraudster, bilking retail investors, wealthy investors, institutional investors, celebrities, and others alike.

The nearly $4B in payouts is being overseen by Richard Breeden of the Madoff Victim Fund and is separate from the payouts issued by Irving Picard, who is the trustee in charge of compensating former customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

With the Madoff Victim Fund, claims include those brought by “indirect” investors whose accounts were at the hedge funds and other entities known as “feeder funds.” These funds would send investors’ money to Madoff. Thousands of victims that lost $17.5B have been seeking to avail of this fund.

Continue reading

According to Fortune and Bloomberg, victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scam were able to recover 57 cents for every dollar they invested in his fake funds because there were investors who never filed claims for $2.5B of the $20B lost in the fraud.

Seeing as the deadline to file claims to recover losses from Madoff’s scheme passed nearly seven years ago, it would be too late for any of these parties to try to get that money back now.

Fortune says no one even knows where this $2.5B is, as the Madoff’s trustee only sought to recover money from claims made. Bloomberg believes that almost half of this money is owned by feeder funds that invested with Madoff. The media outlet said that a couple of Caribbean-based hedge funds are the likely investors. Bloomberg speculated that the funds may have figured that whatever they recovered on the $1.2B would have been much smaller than what they might have had to give back had they stepped forward. The owners of the other $1.3B remain unknown, but could be individual investors who had reasons for not coming forward and filing their own claims.

To date, trustee Irving Picard has paid direct investors about $9.2B. There are tens of thousands of others who, unable to file directly with Picard because they’d invested in the feeder funds, are still waiting to get some money back.

Continue reading

A federal bankruptcy court has approved plans to issue $1.18B to investors who lost money in Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scam. This means that immediate distribution of the funds can take place to those whose claims for repayment have been approved by Madoff trustee Irving Picard.

This is the sixth distribution to date in the over $20B investment fraud run by Madoff, who is spending the rest of his life behind bars for his crimes. This latest round will bring the amount paid to his victims to about $91.13B. Another $320M is being held for investors whose claims are still pending or in litigation.

According to Securities Investor Protection Corp CEO Stephen Harbeck, ex-Madoff customers who invested up to $1.16M will get all of their lost funds back while those who invested more will get about 61 cents for every dollar.

Madoff, who ran his Ponzi scam for decades, used new investors’ money to pay earlier investors. He never conducted any securities trades but instead used a lot of the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. It wasn’t until 2008 that the scheme was uncovered. Thousands of retail investors, charities, celebrities, and others were among those who suffered devastating losses.

In other Madoff Ponzi scam-related news, a Washington State jury ruled that Ernst & Young is guilty of negligence because of the way it audited a feeder fund that sent money to Madoff’s company. The fund was overseen by FutureSelect Portfolio Management.

Ernst & Young audited for funds run by Rye Investment Management, which is a Tremont Group Holdings Inc. unit, and FutureSelect sued Ernst & Young in 2010 after losing over $195M in the Madoff Ponzi scam because it had invested in the Rye funds. Tremont, which is an OppenheimerFunds Inc, affiliate, already has settled charges against in this case. The terms of its settlement are confidential.

Continue reading

Five ex-Aurelia Finance wealth managers have paid “substantial compensation” to resolve criminal complaints related to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam. According to prosecutors, the Swiss-based private bank lost up to $800 million of client money that they put into the scheme.

Pascal Cattaneo, Jean Marc Weneger, Vladimir Stepczynski, Olivier Ador, and Laurent Mathysen-Gerst were charged with criminal mismanagement of the money because they put too much into a Madoff feeder fund. Among those who lost money through asset management units were Italy’s UniCredit, Santander (SAN.MC), and Swiss-based EFG International. Prosecutors claim that the ex-directors got rich on management fees, commissions, and finder fees paid for bogus returns that were never verified.

In total, the Madoff Ponzi scam cost its investors $17 billion. Those impacted included retail investors, celebrities, other wealthy private investors, and institutional investors.

Meantime, efforts to recover the money lost by Madoff’s victims continue.

Continue reading

Six years after the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scam, over $10 billion has been recovered—that’s close to 60% of the principal that went missing after his arrest in 2008. Nearly $6 billion has been paid back to investors. Trustee Irving Picard recently provided these figures in an interim report.

Thousands of investors lost $17.5 billion in principal because of Madoff’s scheme. Even as a significant amount of the money has been returned to them, billions of dollars are being kept in reserve until the securities fraud lawsuits filed by victims wanting bigger payouts are resolved.

The Securities Investor Protection Corp. has spent over $1 billion to facilitate the recovery process. Picard was tasked with recovering investors’ funds. He has worked with forensic accountants, lawyers, and others to figure out who was owed money and who should be sued for benefiting from Madoff’s Ponzi scam. He has even able to recover investor funds via hundreds of lawsuits involving the Madoff clients and banks that didn’t know they were benefiting from the fraud.

According to Richard C. Breeden, who is overseeing the US Department of Justice’s Madoff Victim Fund, he has received some 51,700 claims worth approximately $40 billion from Ponzi scam victims seeking to recover their losses. That amount is three times more than the claims submitted during the bankruptcy proceedings for Bernard L. Madoff’s firm.

The fund is responsible for giving back $4 billion in forfeited assets to claimants, including those who were indirectly impacted by the Madoff Ponzi scam, such as ” feeder funds,” banks, hedge funds, and other entities that trustee Irving Picard has denied recovery. Picard is only compensating direct investors who were harmed.

Breeden says that the amount of investors seeking recovery are twice as many as previously estimated and their claimed losses are billions of dollars greater than what was documented. Prior to an April 30 deadline, he received over 43,500 claims from those who did not submit to the bankruptcy case. More than 36,000 claims were from those who said they haven’t gotten any of their losses back.

The US Supreme Court has just listened to oral argument about how the Fifth Circuit appeals court interprets the breadth of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act’s (SLUSA), which precludes the majority of state class action cases involving plaintiffs claiming misrepresentations related to the buying or selling of a security that it covers. The case stems from Allen Stanford’s $7B Ponzi scam, in which one of his banks put out certificates of deposit that were supposedly safe, liquid investments when, in reality, the investments did not exist. The bank used money from new CD sales to issue redemption payments and interest on older CDs.

Following the discovery of the Stanford securities shame, two sets of investors filed securities fraud cases in Louisiana court against several Stanford companies and employees contending law had been violated. The defendants got the cases sent to federal court.

The securities lawsuits were then sent to the Northern District of Texas, which threw out the fraud lawsuits on the grounds that SLUSA precluded them. That court said that the CDs weren’t covered but that the investors had alleged misrepresentations having to do with securities that were covered. The Stanford bank had claimed it invested in securities that were issued by multinational companies and solid governments and led investors to think investments SLUSA-covered securities at least partially backed the CDs. he Fifth Circuit then reversed that decision.

Ex-Commission Officials, Others Want DC Circuit to Grant Stanford Ponzi Scam Victims SIPC Protection

Former SEC Officials, law professors, and trade groups are among those pressing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reject the regulator’s bid to compel Securities Investor Protection Corporation coverage for the investors who were bilked in R. Allen Stanford’s $7 billion Ponzi scam. Inclusion under the Securities Investor Protection Act would allow the fraud victims to obtain reimbursement for losses.

However, SIPC, which is a federally mandated non-profit corporation, doesn’t believe that the Stanford investors, who purchased certificates of deposit from Stanford International Bank Ltd. in Antigua, fall under this protection. Following a failure to act on the SEC’s request to initiate liquidation proceedings for brokerage firm Stanford Group Co., the regulator asked the court for a novel order that would make the organization comply.