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Madoff settlements reach US$12b with new accords

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Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exiting the Manhattan federal court house in New York on January 14, 2009.

[NEW YORK] The trustee recouping money for Bernard Madoff's victims on Tuesday announced nearly US$371 million of new settlements with two groups of offshore funds that invested with the imprisoned Ponzi schemer, boosting the total recovery to about US$12 billion.

Irving Picard, the trustee, said Lagoon Investment Ltd agreed to repay US$240.7 million from an account through which Hermes International Fund Ltd invested with Madoff, while Thema Fund Ltd and an affiliate agreed to repay US$130.1 million.

Mr Picard announced the settlements with British Virgin Islands-based Lagoon and Bermuda-based Thema one day after revealing more than US$23 million of settlements with the estates of Madoff's late sons Andrew and Mark, and entities affiliated with the Madoff family.

Lagoon and Thema were among many feeder funds that sent customers' money, often without their knowledge, to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

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Mr Picard said the recovered sums represent money withdrawn in the six years before Madoff's fraud was uncovered in December 2008.

Like many other former Madoff customers that settled with Picard, Lagoon and Thema will be entitled to share in distributions from the Madoff firm's liquidation.

Picard had previously recovered more than US$11.6 billion for Madoff customers who he estimates lost US$17.5 billion.

The trustee and Baker & Hostetler have been awarded more than US$889 million of compensation for their work on Madoff matters through Nov 30, 2016, according to an order signed by US Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein, who oversees the process.

A hearing to consider approving the settlements with Lagoon, Thema and the Madoff sons' estates has been set for July 26.

Andrew Madoff died of cancer in September 2014 and Mark Madoff committed suicide in December 2010. Bernard Madoff, 79, is serving a 150-year prison term.

REUTERS

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