WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 15, 2008 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, announced today that it is liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC of New York, NY, under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA).
SIPC today filed an application with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for a declaration that the customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC are in need of the protections available under the SIPA. The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the application and appointed Irving H. Picard as trustee for the liquidation of the brokerage firm, and further appointed the law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP as counsel to Mr. Picard.
SIPC President and CEO Stephen Harbeck said: "Upon information provided by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, it is clear that the customers of the Madoff firm need the protections available under federal law. Mr. Picard has served as trustee in more brokerage firm liquidations than any other individual. SIPC and the trustee are dedicated to returning assets to customers as promptly as possible."
Mr. Harbeck cautioned, however, that the scope of the misappropriation and the state of the defunct firm's records will make this more difficult than in most prior brokerage firm insolvencies. "It is unlikely that SIPC and the Trustee will be able to transfer the customer accounts of the firm to a solvent brokerage firm. The state of the firm's records may preclude a transfer of customer accounts. Also, because the size of the misappropriation has not yet been established, it is impossible to determine each customer's pro rata share of ‘customer property'."
The trustee is charged with giving notice of the proceeding and mailing claim forms to the customers and other creditors of the firm. Information about the case also will be made available on the Web at www.sipc.org.
Mr. Picard stated that he is acutely aware of the concern of investors who have been caught up in this financial scandal. "I will work with SIPC to do what the law allows to ameliorate the losses to customers