NEW YORK (Reuters) - A judge ordered Harley International Ltd to pay $1.07 billion after the so-called feeder fund for Bernard Madoff failed to defend against a lawsuit seeking money for victims of the imprisoned swindler.
Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland entered a default judgment on Wednesday against Harley, which is based in the Cayman Islands and being liquidated there. It is unclear how or when Harley might pay any of the $1.07 billion award.
Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff’s investment advisory firm, had sought the return of $1.07 billion that Harley allegedly took out of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 2008. The firm collapsed that December.
Picard also said Harley had directed more than $2 billion of investor money to Madoff’s firm from 1996 to 2008.
His case against Harley is one of many “clawback” lawsuits filed against alleged beneficiaries of Madoff’s fraud.
Kevin McCue, a spokesman for Picard, in an email said “we will take such action as we deem appropriate” to try to recover on the judgment.
Harley is being liquidated by Kinetic Partners LLP, according to Kinetic’s website. That firm did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Picard is a partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP in New York. He has through September 30 recovered about $1.5 billion for Madoff victims, court records show.
Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year term in a North Carolina federal prison after pleading guilty to orchestrating what prosecutors call a $65 billion Ponzi scheme.
The case is Picard v. Harley International (Cayman) Ltd, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 09-ap-00187.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Andre Grenon