x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Madoff feeder fund liquidators sue Adia over redemptions

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is being targeted by lawyers seeking the return of $300 million the sovereign wealth fund invested and withdrew from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme more than five years ago.

Lawyers overseeing the liquidation of one of Bernard Madoff's so-called "feeder funds" have filed suit against the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), seeking to recover US$300 million (Dh1.1 billion) allegedly redeemed more than five years ago.

The suit is one of more than 200 cases filed by lawyers overseeing the liquidation of Fairfield Sentry, a fund that solicited investments across the globe that were then pumped into Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Fairfield Sentry's liquidators are seeking money they allege ADIA withdrew in 2005 and 2006, plus interest and court expenses.

The suit does not allege any wrongdoing on the part of ADIA or complicity on the part of the sovereign wealth fund in the $50-billion Ponzi scheme.

Several investors from the region, including some from Bahrain and the UAE, have been singled out in cases involving Madoff's scheme as a result of investments they made and exited years ago - well before the scheme was exposed.

Madoff's Ponzi scheme imploded in December 2008 and the disgraced financier is now serving a 150-year sentence.

The suits, filed by the feeder fund and a group of lawyers overseeing its liquidation, is part of a complex chain of cases originating with Madoff's bankruptcy proceedings.

So-called clawback suits against investors who left Madoff's scheme before its collapse have become a controversial part of legal proceedings aimed at compensating victims who kept their money with Madoff until the end and lost billions of dollars.

Irving Picard, the trustee in Madoff's main bankruptcy case, has filed his own set of clawback suits against the feeder funds, including a $3.2bn claim against Fairfield Sentry.

Adia is set to respond to the Fairfield Sentry suit by next month.

 

afitch@thenational.ae