Bank Austria loses Madoff fund case in Vienna

VIENNA Fri Feb 8, 2013 8:00am EST

VIENNA Feb 8 (Reuters) - An Austrian court has ruled against Bank Austria in a case brought by an investor over a fund linked to Bernard Madoff, the U.S. financier convicted of fraud.

Format magazine said on Friday the unnamed investor had sought more than 60,000 euros ($80,300) for losses from investing in Herald Fund SPC, which was represented in Austria by Bank Austria, a unit of Italian lender UniCredit.

Format said the Commercial Court in Vienna found the fund's prospectus - which Bank Austria was responsible for checking - was incomplete because it did not make clear that Madoff was both manager and custodian of fund assets.

A court spokesman confirmed the ruling.

In response to an email enquiry, a bank spokesman said: "Bank Austria will lodge an appeal against the verdict in the Herald Fund case." He declined further comment.

Bank Austria has vowed to contest a series of lawsuits over the Madoff case.

A U.S. federal judge last year dismissed racketeering claims against UniCredit and Bank Austria, dealing the Italian bank a victory and the U.S. trustee representing victims of Madoff's Ponzi scheme a major setback in his quest for compensation for the victims.

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