The New York Law Journal by Noeleen G. Walder - July 13, 2009
The trustee charged with liquidating the investment advisory firm of Bernard L. Madoff asked a bankruptcy judge on Friday to approve more than $15 million in interim counsel fees. In the nearly seven months since Irving H. Picard was appointed trustee by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., he and his counsel have made significant progress in investigating Mr. Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, according to Baker & Hostetler's initial application for attorney's fees and expenses incurred from Dec. 15, 2008, through April 30, 2009. The $14.7 million that the team of lawyers, paralegals and non-legal staff is requesting amounts to a 10 percent discount off their customary rates.
A second fee application filed Friday requested $759,000 for Mr. Picard, "of which 20 percent is to be deferred through the conclusion of the liquidation period," and a mere $45 for his expenses. Mr. Picard and his team have recovered close to $1.1 billion in assets in connection with the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS). The team has also filed eight avoidance actions seeking to recoup more than $13.7 billion from feeder funds and related parties, according to a separate interim report filed on July 9 to Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland. All told, between Dec. 11 and June 30, Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC) has spent roughly $214 million in connection with the liquidation of Mr. Madoff's firm. The 45-page report in In re Bernard L. Madoff, 08-1789, comes less than two weeks after Southern District Judge Denny Chin sentenced Mr. Madoff, 71, to 150 years in prison for his "extraordinarily evil" crimes (NYLJ, June 30). Mr. Picard's report stresses that as of June 30, SIPC has advanced $214.4 million "to pay all administrative costs associated with the liquidation of the estate," including $45.9 million for administrative expenses. The $169.4 million balance has been used to pay customer claims.
It also chronicles the steps Mr. Picard has taken to generate $1.08 billion for the estate, including:
• settling four class action suits against Mr. Madoff's firm for $55,000;
• selling New York Mets season tickets as well as single game Minnesota Wild and NASCAR tickets for $92,000;
• and collecting $145,000 from political donations made by Mr. Madoff or his firm.
Meanwhile, Mr. Picard has had to defend himself against two motions to intervene in the liquidation proceeding, one launched by a federal prison inmate who has "taken to assuming the name of the Trustee when filing various baseless pleadings" and an unsuccessful bid in May by Ade O. Ogunjobi, who has made numerous outrageous bids to purchase major companies, to buy Mr. Madoff's securities firm for $100 trillion in stock. Noeleen.Walder@incisivemedia.com
$14.6M 'BERNIE' BONUS
The New York Post - AP - July 11, 2009
A Big Apple law firm working with a court-appointed trustee in the $65 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi case has racked up more than $14.6 million in legal fees. Bankruptcy Court papers filed yesterday also show that trustee Irving Picard is separately seeking about $760,000 for his work locating and liquidating Madoff's assets. A securities-industry group that compensates victims of fraud is covering the legal fees. Victims of Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme have filed more 15,400 claims against the disgraced financier, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison. This week, Madoff through his lawyer said he would not appeal the effective life sentence.