UPDATE: A regularly updated list of all Madoff investor litigation, including in particular Madoff "feeder fund" litigation, can be accessed here.
As further proof that the losses associated with the Madoff fraud scheme will trigger a wave of litigation, on December 23, 2008, plaintiffs’ lawyers initiated a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors in the FM Low Volatility Fund, against Family Management Corporation ( the Fund’s general partner and manager) and certain of FMC’s directors and officers; three "fund of funds" in which FMC invested investor funds (Andover, Beacon and Maxam); and the Funds’ auditor.
The complaint, which can be found here, alleges violations of the federal securities laws and related stated and common law violations, and also asserts derivative breach of fiduciary duties on behalf of the Funds.
According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ December 24, 2008 press release (here), FMC
concentrated more than half of the Fund’s investment capital with at least three funds of funds ("FOFs") -- Andover, Beacon and Maxam -- that, in turn, all heavily invested in entities managed by Bernard Madoff ("Madoff") or Madoff-related entities. Investors who entrusted their savings to FMC suffered millions in damages as a result of Madoff’s fraudulent scheme.
The complaint further alleges that the defendants failed to perform requisite "due diligence" and "knew or should have known" about Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
The plaintiffs’ also allege that FMC and its defendant directors and officers issued misleading offering documents that
falsely stated that FMC would not invest more than 35% of the Fund’s net asset value with any one investment vehicle, but, in reality, more than 60% of the Fund’s assets were funneled through three FOFs – Defendants Andover, Beacon and Maxam – and invested in Madoff-related entities. The Offering Memorandum also falsely stated that FMC would (i) endeavor to verify the integrity of each manager of a FOF in which the Fund was invested; (ii) attempt to monitor the performance of each manager; and (iii) request detailed information regarding the historical performance and investment strategy of each of the selected investments for the Fund. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, with no or inadequate due diligence or oversight, abdicated their responsibilities and entrusted the Fund’s assets to Madoff-run investment vehicles.
Even More Madoff Investor Litigation: In earlier post (here), I noted the class action lawsuit that had been filed against Tremont Group Holdings, certain of its directors and officers, and its corporate parents, on behalf of investors in the American Masters Prime Fund, whose assets Tremont managed and that had suffered losses due to Tremont’s investment of those funds with Bernard Madoff and his firm.
On December 23, 2008, plaintiffs filed a similar but separate lawsuit against Tremont and related entities, but on behalf of the class of investors in the Rye Funds, who also claim that they lost their investment due to Tremont’s investment with Madoff and his firm. The Rye Funds complaint also includes as a defendant Tremont’s auditor, KPMG. A copy of the Rye Funds’ investors’ complaint can be found here. A copy of the plaintiffs’ lawyers December 23 press release can be found here.
In addition, according to a December 24, 2008 Bloomberg article (here), New York University has initiated a New York state court lawsuit against J. Ezra Merkin, Gabriel Capital, and Ariel Fund, in which it alleges that $24 million of endowment investments due to the defendants’ investment of the assets with Madoff and his firm. A copy of the NYU lawsuit complaint can be found here.
An earlier class action lawsuit that previously had been filed against Gabriel and related defendants can be found here.
Special thank to Adam Savett of the Securities Litigation Watch (here) for providing a copy of the Rye Funds Complaint.
Keeping Track: By my tally, the Family Management Corporation case is at least the seventh federal class action lawsuit filed in the wake of the revelation of the Madoff fraud. Of these, six of these seven are directed against so-called "feeder funds," the seventh directly against Madoff and his firm. In addition, there are several other state court lawsuits, including the one identified above and the earlier lawsuit filed against the Fairfield Greenwich fund firm (about which refer here).
If the early returns are any indication, there could be a flood of litigation yet to come. Of course it remains to be seen whether or to what extent any of these claims succeed. But in the meantime, indications are that these Madoff-related lawsuits will continue to mount.