Hedge Fund Ordered To Pay $180 Million To Madoff Trustee

Aug 5 2010 | 7:13pm ET

A British Virgin Islands-based hedge fund has been ordered to pay US$180 million to the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland entered the default judgment after Vizcaya Partners failed to plead its case “or otherwise defend itself.” Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee seeking to recoup money for victims of the $65 billion fraud, sought the default judgment more than a year ago.

How much of the US$180 million Picard will actually collect. Some US$74 million of the hedge fund’s money is being held by its bank, Banque Jacob Safra, in Gibraltar. The Supreme Court of Gibraltar has yet to rule on that money; Picard has sued the bank, but it is not covered by the default order against Vizcaya.

Picard sued Vizcaya for money it withdrew from its Madoff accounts in the four months prior to Madoff’s December 2008 arrest. Lifland’s order also applies to Vizcaya affiliates Asphalia Fund, Siam Capital Management and Zeus Partners.

Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

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