More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firms policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
Associated Press reports 22 of the lawsuits were filed against relatives of Madoff and his wife, trustee Irving Picard said in a news release. Eighteen lawsuits were filed against former employees of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, he said.
The latest flurry of lawsuit filings was made as the Dec. 11 deadline for filing looms.
Picard said his firm is seeking about $69 million in funds deposited by the company's customers and stolen in the 72-year-old's vast Ponzi scheme.
According to the wire service, Picard said the lawsuits were filed as part of an effort to recover funds from relatives and employees "who were closest to the center of the fraud and who were, in many cases, among those who benefited most from the Ponzi scheme."
Among the complaints, Madoff's sister, Sondra Weiner, is accused of having "profited for decades" from the scheme, Picard said.
Picard said the lawsuits were filed after discussions with the defendants and their attorneys collapsed. Other complaints were previously filed against relatives of Madoff and senior BLMIS employees, according to AP.
The fresh batch of lawsuits comes three days after Picard announced a lawsuit against Swiss bank UBS AG, alleging it funneled clients to Madoff and then "looked the other way." The bank called the allegation "completely unfounded."
UBS and its affiliates, "enabled Madoff's Ponzi scheme through numerous international feeder funds," alleged Picard. He claims the companies were liable for at least $2 billion of Madoff's fraud.
Also named in the lawsuit are late French financier Thierry de la Villehuchet, who killed himself some two years ago at the time of Madoff's arrest, and his associates at AIA.
As AP notes, Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina after confessing to the nearly two-decade scheme that ensnared thousands of victims, including charities, celebrities and institutional investors.