Saturday, June 25, 2011

Madoff trustee wants billions more from JPMorgan

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The trustee in the Bernie Madoff case filed an amended complaint against JPMorgan Chase on Friday, upping the damages sought from $5.4 billion to $19 billion for the bank's alleged role in the Ponzi scheme.

Irving Picard, the trustee, had previously filed a complaint that sought to recover nearly $1 billion in fees and profits and an additional $5.4 billion in damages stemming from the bank's long stint as Madoff's banker.

But now Picard is alleging that JPMorgan Chase bankers played a larger role, and knowingly watched the fraud unfold without taking action.

"As alleged in the amended complaint, [JPMorgan Chase] not only should have known that a fraud was being perpetrated, they did know," David Sheehan, Picard's lawyer and a partner at Baker & Hostetler, said in a statement.

The trustee has sued hundreds of Madoff investors, including firms, individuals and the owners of the New York Mets baseball team, for profiting from their investments in his firm.

In February, JPMorgan responded to Picard's initial complaint, accusing the trustee of overstepping his bounds.

"JPMorgan believes that the Trustee is entirely wrong in asserting that JPMorgan violated any federal statutes or regulations," the bank's lawyer John Savarese said in court filing.

JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday.

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