Barclays Settles Lawsuit Over Collapsed Bear Hedge Funds

Feb 12 2009 | 3:32am ET

Barclays has settled its lawsuit with the late Bear Stearns over its losses in a hedge fund that famously collapsed two years ago, sending the august investment bank on the road to extinction.

The British bank has reached an agreement on the suit, the Financial Times reports, although neither Barclays nor JPMorgan Chase, which took over the collapsing Bear last year, would comment. The terms of the settlement are unclear.

Barclays had accused Bear of fraud, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty. The lawsuit, filed in December 2007, alleges that Bear and the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Master Fund’s managers, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin, lied about the fund’s performance. Both Cioffi and Tannin have been charged by federal prosecutors with fraud and conspiracy.

The Enhanced Leverage fund and its less-levered sister fund collapsed in the summer of 2007 after suffering huge losses in the subprime mortgage market. Barclays, the sole investor in the Enhanced Leverage fund, could lose as much as $950 million.

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