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Madoff Assets Located in Canada, Lawyers Needed, Trustee Says

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Author: Karen Gullo, Bloomberg

Assets of Bernard Madoffís defunct investment firm have been located in Canada and the trustee liquidating the convicted felonís Ponzi scheme is seeking to hire a Montreal law firm to recover them, court filings show.

Lawyers for trustee Irving Picard filed a request to hire Kugler Kandestin LLP as special counsel to represent Picard in Canada, according to a filing today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

ďThe trustee has become aware of assets that he believes to be customer property located in Canada and requires counsel to pursue such customer property,Ē the lawyers said. They didnít specify what the assets were.

The Canadian law firm would help gather evidence and provide advice on tracing funds and, if needed, file lawsuits seeking recovery of assets from third parties, said Gordon Levine, a Kugler Kandestin attorney, in the filing.

Picard was hired by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. to recover assets and repay victims as much as $500,000 each, a combined total of almost $15 billion for all of the victims. He has approved 1,647 customer claims with $561 million in committed SIPC payments and $4.69 billion in overall losses.

Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty in March and is serving a 150- year sentence.

As of last month, Picard had recovered about $1.4 billion in assets for victims who thought they had $65 billion in their accounts.

The case is Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, 08-01789, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net.