Madoff Trustee Wants $2.1B From Feeder Fund Tremont

Mar 2 2011 | 9:59am ET

The court-appointed trustee in the Bernard Madoff case wants one of Madoff's largest feeder funds to pay up—to the tune of more than $2 billion.

Irving Picard is seeking at least $2.1 billion from Tremont Group Holdings, its parent companies Oppenheimer Acquisition Corp. and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, and related funds and companies, according to his complaint against the fund of hedge funds, unsealed yesterday. Picard sued the Tremont entities in December, one of more than 100 lawsuits he filed prior to his deadline.

According to Picard, Tremont, like many others, ignored countless red flags about Madoff's operations, earning more than $180 million from 2002 through 2008 and as much as $240 million in total from Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme. "Yet every cent of the billions they accepted in withdrawals and fees over the course of their relationship with Madoff was money stolen from other BLMIS customers."

Tremont was the second-largest Madoff feeder fund and has styled itself among the fraudster's biggest victims; its funds lost more than $3 billion. Now, it stands among the individuals and firms with the largest claims against them.

Tremont said that it "acted capably and appropriately" with regard to its relationship with Madoff. The firm last month settled a lawsuit filed by its investors for $100 million.

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