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Madoff trustee and N.Y. AG go to battle over settlement

Irving Picard says New York’s settlement over Ponzi scheme losses is unfair

Irving Picard has his hands full. For years, the court-appointed trustee for Bernard Madoff’s victims has gone to battle, fighting over what’s fair for those harmed in the largest Ponzi scheme in history. And he’s up against it again.

Later today, Picard will take on Eric Schneiderman in a Manhattan court over a $410 million settlement the New York attorney general reached with hedge fund manager Ezra Merkin. Schneiderman sued Merkin in 2009, accusing him of “recklessly” feeding $2.4 billion in client funds to Madoff.

But Picard says the settlement is unfair to many of Madoff’s victims because it will only return funds to certain investors. Picard had sued Merkin for $500 million in fraudulent transfers in a separate suit in 2009. That case is still pending.

A lawyer for Schneiderman told the court, in so many words, that Picard needs to butt out. "The trustee has no right to enjoin or interfere with the Merkin settlement," David Ellenhorn, a lawyer for Schneiderman, said in a court document.

As we all know, in December 2008, Madoff was arrested for securities fraud after he masterminded the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. He is now serving a 150-year prison sentence.

Read more about this story on Thomson Reuters.

And read more InsideCounsel stories about the ongoing Madoff saga:

Madoff victims’ payout may exceed $5 billion

9th Circuit says Madoff investors can’t sue SEC

Peter Madoff gets 10 years behind bars

Madoff victims can only file claims for actual losses

Madoff trustee tries to block investor settlement

Former Madoff employee pleads guilty to decades of fraud

Madoff victims receive largest payout yet

Madoff trustee can pay victims $2.4 billion

Madoff trustee asks for $2.4 billion for victims

New York Mets settle with Madoff victims for $162 million

JPMorgan Chase faces $19 billion lawsuit from Madoff victims



Cathleen Flahardy

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