UBS Ordered To Pay Redemption From Madoff-Linked Hedge Fund

Jan 15 2009 | 1:28pm ET

The first verdict in a Bernard Madoff-linked case has come down in favor of one of the alleged fraudster’s victims.

A Luxembourg court today ordered UBS to pay France’s Oddo Asset Management €30 million (US$39.4 million) that Oddo had invested in a Madoff-linked fund to which UBS served as custodian. Oddo had redeemed its investment in Access International’s LuxAlpha Sicav-American Selection hedge fund on Nov. 4, prior to the Madoff scandal breaking. But UBS was careful in filling the redemption, hoping to avoid claims that it inappropriately returned money to investors.

UBS may have thought it was being cautious, but the judge in the case called its attitude “obstinate.” The bank quickly said it would pay Oddo.

“After all, this is not the bank’s money, it’s LuxAlpha’s money,” Paul Mousel, a lawyer for UBS, told Bloomberg News.

Mousel explained that UBS’ position was that Oddo sued the wrong firm in its effort to recoup its investment.

“There’s not a shadow of a doubt that Oddo was due this money, but what was not correct from a legal point of view was for the court to uphold Oddo’s claim directly against UBS,” he said. “Oddo should have made its claim against the fund, not the bank.”

For its part, Oddo did not seem interested in technicalities, calling itself satisfied that “the interests of its clients are being protected.”

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