On November 13, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued a press release entitled “US Labor Department Recovers Nearly $220 Million for Madoff Victims.” On the same day New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (the “NYAG”) issued a press release entitled “A.G. Schneiderman Obtains $210 Million Settlement With Ivy Asset Management In Connection With Madoff Ponzi Scheme.”  Both the DOL and the NYAG are to be congratulated and each press release refers to the other regulatory authority. However, it is not immediately clear that the press releases are addressing a single $220 million settlement with Ivy Asset Management (“Ivy”) and other defendants of a number of consolidated lawsuits in which the DOL and NYAG are principal plaintiffs. The settlement is pending approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

An interesting statement in the NYAG press release is the following:

When added to future amounts Madoff investors anticipate receiving from the Madoff bankruptcy proceeding, today's settlement is expected to return all or nearly all the original investment to those defrauded by the Ponzi scheme in this case.

This statement should provide some measure of holiday comfort and joy to all Madoff victims who hold claims that have been allowed by Trustee Irving Picard in the Madoff bankruptcy proceeding. It should be especially satisfying to the members of the Wilpon/Katz/Mets/Sterling (collectively, “Wilpons”) consortium. As pointed out in Installment 85 of this blog series and many earlier Installments, the Wilpons’ timely and foresighted settlement with Picard may virtually absolve them of any out-of-pocket payments as a group to Picard in the Madoff proceeding.

One final observation on the Ivy matter. This blog series discussed in Installments 34 and 38 certain issues respecting Ivy that had surfaced in the summer of 2010 about the time that the NYAG and the DOL filed suit against Ivy. The interest in Ivy by this blog series earlier in 2010 had been triggered by the identification of Ivy as an investment adviser that appeared to have involved Howard Hughes Medical Institute (“HHMI”), in investing with Madoff. There has been no public information readily available to date as to the extent of the investment by HHMI with Madoff. Moreover, as discussed in Installment 29, it was clear that HHMI does not intend to provide voluntarily any light on the subject. Installment 29 did raise a question as to whether HHMI was required to provide such information in its Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service. 

Almost four years after Madoff was arrested, his massive Ponzi scheme still has unresolved and undisclosed issues.