The trustee seeking to recover funds lost in the Bernard Madoff securities fraud Sunday sought $9 billion from international banking firm HSBC, in a bankruptcy court complaint.
Irving H. Picard, trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, brought 24 counts of alleged fraud and misconduct against HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Bank plc, and affiliated entities.
The complaint alleges that HSBC enabled Madoff’s Ponzi scheme through the creation, marketing and support of an international network of a dozen feeder funds based in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America, also named in the complaint. Other defendants named in the filing include the management companies and service providers of those feeder funds. These included Sonja Kohn, Genevalor, Mario Benbassat and his sons, Albert and Stephane, as well as Bank Medici and Unicredit.
According to the complaint, the Defendants directed more than $8.9 billion into BLMIS’s fraudulent investment advisory business.
The filing comes as the two-year anniversary of the arrest of Madoff, formerly a vice chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers. The trustee must file any complaints seeking restitution by that anniversary date, which is Saturday.
Last week, Picard sued JP Morgan Chase & Co. for $6.4 billion.
The trustee, Irving H. Picard, cited JP Morgan Chase's "decades-long role" as the primary banker for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
The suit, filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks to recover nearly $1 billion in fees and profits and pull in an additional $5.4 billion in damages for JP Morgan Chase's alleged "aiding and abetting" of Madoff's fraud.
“The complaint filed today by the trustee for the Madoff estate blatantly distorts both the facts and the law in an attempt to grab headlines,'' said JP Morgan Chase vice president of Americas media relations Jennifer R. Zuccarelli. “JPMorgan intends to defend itself vigorously against the meritless and unfounded claims brought by the trustee.”
Madoff committed his fraud by manufacturing trades in batches in an IBM computer and assigning the fictitious transactions to customer accounts ("How Bernie Made Basket Cases of His Customers' Accounts").