THE trustee seeking money for defrauded former clients of Bernard Madoff said he filed a $6.4bn (£4.1bn) lawsuit accusing JPMorgan Chase of aiding the imprisoned Ponzi schemer’s fraud as his main banker yesterday.
The lawsuit is the second largest that trustee Irving Picard has filed against former Madoff clients or others he believes assisted in the estimated $65bn Ponzi scheme.
JPMorgan, the second-largest US bank, was for more than 20 years the main banker for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, which the trustee is liquidating following its 11 December 2008 collapse. Picard must file “clawback” lawsuits to recover money lost in the fraud by the two-year anniversary of the Madoff firm’s demise. “While many financial institutions enabled Madoff's fraud, JPMorgan was at the very center of that fraud, and thoroughly complicit in it,” David Sheehan, a lawyer representing the trustee.
JPMorgan said it will defend itself against Picard’s lawsuit. “Any suggestion that JPMorgan supported Madoff’s fraud is utterly baseless and demonstrably false,” spokesman Brian Marchiony said. “Contrary to the trustee’s allegations, JPMorgan did not know about or in any way assist in the fraud orchestrated by Bernard Madoff.”