Argus, Tremont Settle Madoff Suits Over Life, Annuity Policies

September 1, 2009

Argus Group Holdings Ltd and Tremont International Insurance Ltd have reached a settlement with buyers and holders of life insurance and annuity policies lost in the Bernard Madoff fraud, according to court documents Tuesday.

The lawsuits were filed following the arrest in December of former Nasdaq non-executive chairman Madoff, who is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to running a Ponzi scheme of as much as $65 billion. The Ponzi scheme — one in which early investors are paid with the money of new clients — collapsed in the declining economy when redemptions overwhelmed the funds available.

Details of the amounts of money involved were not disclosed in the settlement document filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The settlement is subject to approval by Judge Thomas Griesa.

The settlement applies to the insurance litigation portion of three groups of lawsuits that were consolidated and identified Rye, New York-based Tremont Group Holdings as the main defendant.

Representatives of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Argus and Tremont could not immediately be reached for comment.

“The settling parties intend to fully, finally and forever resolve, discharge, dismiss and settle the claims against the Argus defendants,” the document said.

It said Argus denied and disclaimed any wrongdoing or liability with the claims and allegations made against it.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of investors who bought or held variable universal life or deferred variable annuity policies issued by Tremont International Insurance or Argus International and managed by Tremont Capital Management or Rye Investment Management from May 10, 1994 through Dec. 11, 2008, the day the FBI arrested Madoff.

Tremont Group invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, which ran a brokerage and an investment advisory unit. Madoff, 71, admitted in court in March that the investment unit ran the multibillion-dollar fraud over at least two decades. (Reporting by Grant McCool, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.