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LuxAlpha Seeks to Move Madoff Suit to U.S. District Court

Access International Advisors LLC’s LuxAlpha Sicav asked a U.S. district judge to review a lawsuit by the liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s firm, saying it was joining in a similar request by UBS AG.

UBS last week was joined by Access International, the heir of its late Chief Executive Officer Thierry Magon de La Villehuchet and Groupement Financier Ltd.

Trustee Irving Picard sued UBS twice, demanding $2.6 billion and alleging the Zurich-based bank aided Madoff’s fraud by setting up so-called feeder funds such as LuxAlpha that put money with the con man. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who is handling Picard’s $19 billion suit against JPMorgan Chase & Co., said the UBS case is related and she will review it if the bank keeps to the schedule already set for JPMorgan.

The LuxAlpha funds, named in the UBS suits, said they should be included too.

“It is certainly within the interests of judicial efficiency to keep these complex cases before the same court,” they said in a court filing yesterday.

Luxembourg-based LuxAlpha, which is being liquidated, was formed by UBS, according to Picard. It filed duplicate claims against the Madoff firm of about $1.5 billion each, he said. Groupement Financier, a fund organized in the British Virgin Islands, never filed any claims against the Madoff estate, according to its lawyer Robert Gottlieb. Citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Anna Nicole Smith case, he said in a July 8 letter to McMahon the fund therefore had a right to a jury trial in district court.

De La Villehuchet of Access International, which managed $3 billion, killed himself in 2008 after potentially losing all of the funds he invested with Madoff.

The UBS case is Picard v. UBS AG, 10-ap-4285, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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