U.S. Judge Seeks Gibraltar Assets For Madoff Victims

Aug 25 2010 | 12:57pm ET

It’s been an internationally interesting week for U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland, who is overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s businesses.

First, he agreed to ask the British courts to force HSBC to hand over a series of reports on fraud and operational risk at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. Now, he’s asking the courts of Gibraltar to turn over $73.1 million held by a hedge fund that invested with the arch-Ponzi schemer.

The Supreme Court of Gibraltar last year froze the assets of Vizcaya Partners and three affiliates as part of separate litigation against the British Virgin Islands-based hedge fund. As such, it was not covered by Lifland’s order earlier this month that Vizcaya turn over $180 million to Madoff receiver Irving Picard, who is seeking to recoup assets on behalf of victims of the $65 billion fraud.

“At this stage, it would be in the best interest of the BLMIS estate to turn the Gibraltar funds over to either this court or the trustee,” Lifland wrote to Anthony Dudley, chief justice of the Gibraltar court.

Lifland entered the judgment against Vizcaya after the hedge fund failed to respond to Picard’s lawsuit for more than a year.

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