Judge OKs Tremont Madoff Settlement

Sep 23 2011 | 1:59pm ET

A federal judge has given his assent to a $1 billion settlement between the Bernard Madoff receiver and one of the con man's biggest feeder fund managers.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland approved the deal struck by Irving Picard and Tremont Ground Holdings, calling it "fair and reasonable." Picard had originally sought $2.1 billion from Tremont, which is owned by MassMutual.

The settlement leaves intact some $3 billion in claims that Tremont has against the Madoff estate, giving it "the potential to recover a substantial portion of their losses incurred as a result of Madoff's fraud."

Picard's deal with Tremont is among his largest. But it isn't likely to be his last, according to one report.

The owners of the New York Mets, whom Picard has sued for more than $1 billion, are almost certain to settle the case before it goes to trial in March, a source told the New York Daily News. A deal is likely to come on the eve of that court date, the source added.

"It would be too damaging for both parties not to settle," the source told the Daily News. "You'll have e-mails and documents that are damaging to the Mets, and the judge will make Picard look bad."

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