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UBS set to defend $80 million Madoff claim

AFP · 4 Nov 2011, 09:18

Published: 04 Nov 2011 09:18 GMT+01:00

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Swiss bank UBS said on Thursday it would vigorously defend claims for $80 million in the Bernard Madoff affair after a $2 billion suit was thrown out of court earlier this week.

A US federal judge on Tuesday dismissed cases brought by the trustee appointed to claw back cash from the massive fraud scandal, who sought $19 billion from American bank JPMorgan Chase and $2 billion from UBS.

"Subject to an appeal by the Trustee, this decision means that the claims against UBS are limited to those in which the Trustee seeks to recover fees paid to UBS," the Zurich lender said in a statement sent to AFP.

"He alleges that those claims amount to at least $80 million. 

"Judge McMahon has directed that those remaining claims and claims against other defendants should be heard in the Bankruptcy Court.

"UBS intends to vigorously defend the remaining claims against it as well."

Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff was jailed for 150 years in 2009 for masterminding a ponzi scheme fraud worth between $23 billion and $65 billion.

For decades the 73-year-old ran a fake trading firm where he stole from fresh deposits to create fake profits for existing clients, providing high and steady returns that seemingly made him one of the industry's top performers.

His thousands of victims included charities, major banks, Hollywood moguls and savvy financial players.

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A court-appointed trustee is seeking to return funds to those he swindled.

"The 80 million is a minimum for UBS," said a US source close to the case, adding that together with "entities" related to UBS the sum stood at $1 billion.

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