Tremont Group Holdings, the hedge fund firm owned by Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp., and UBS were sued by the trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff’s investment firm over claims they profited from his fraud.
The claim for at least $555 million against UBS comes after a $2 billion suit against the bank last month, said Irving H. Picard, the lawyer appointed as trustee by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, in a statement.
Mr. Picard said in a separate statement that Tremont, its funds, affiliates and owners including Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance ignored obvious warning signs of fraud to maximize their own profits and self-interest. The statement didn’t say how much he was seeking from Tremont.
Any money recovered will be returned to Mr. Madoff’s victims on a pro rata basis, said Mr. Picard, who has so far recovered about $2.5 billion for creditors of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Mr. Picard faces a Saturday deadline to file claims against parties alleged to have profited from Mr. Madoff’s fraud.
Chris Cockerill, spokesman for UBS, wrote in an e-mail that the bank would take “all appropriate steps” to show Mr. Picard’s latest allegations are “false and unfounded.”
Mark Cybulski, a spokesman for MassMutual, couldn’t be reached by telephone and didn’t respond to an e-mail requesting comment.
Mr. Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina after admitting he directed the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Mr. Picard is seeking a total of more than $33 billion from Madoff and his family, former employees, banks, feeder funds and investors alleged to have profited from the fraud. That amount is more than the estimated $20 billion in principal lost by Madoff investors.