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Fairfield Greenwich Accused of Madoff-Related Fraud

April 3, 2009
Related Topics: Miscellaneous Legal Issues, Retirement/Pensions, Ethics, Latest News
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Financial asset management firm Fairfield Greenwich Group was charged with fraud in connection with the Bernard Madoff scandal in an administrative complaint filed Wednesday, April 1, by Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin.

The complaint alleges lack of due diligence in funneling Massachusetts investors’ money to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.

In a news release, Galvin alleged that Fairfield exhibited a “total disregard” for its fiduciary responsibilities in placing 95 percent of the $7.2 billion in Fairfield’s Sentry Funds with Madoff, who pleaded guilty in federal court in March to running a giant Ponzi scheme.

Brian McNiff, a spokesman for Galvin, said Fairfield Greenwich will have 21 days to respond to the allegations before a hearings officer from the state’s Securities Division, with the option of appealing any eventual ruling to Superior Court.

The administrative complaint seeks restitution for losses and disgorgement of performance fees paid to Fairfield by those investors, as well as an administrative fine. Fairfield earned a fee of 1 percent of the Sentry funds’ assets under management, plus a 20 percent performance fee based on the funds’ returns, the news release said.

In a statement released Wednesday, April 1, Fairfield Greenwich said it “intends to vigorously contest the allegations in the complaint,” which it termed “false and misleading.” The statement said the Massachusetts complaint is based on “20-20 hindsight that supposes that anyone familiar with Madoff’s operations should have determined that it was a Ponzi scheme.”


Filed by Douglas Appell of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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