Filing a Claim
Updated: December 16, 2013
(added Questions #12 - #16)
Click the question to expand the answer.
► Q1.1. What form should I use?
We have received numerous investor questions regarding which claim form to use. We have included more guidance below on choosing the correct claim form. However, IF YOU FILE THE WRONG FORM WE WILL STILL ACCEPT THE CLAIM. In general, once you file we will be able to work with you on your specific claim information.
- If you were an investor in a feeder fund or similar "indirect" or group investment, you should use Form IND. In +90% of cases, Form IND is the proper form to use unless you have been receiving checks from the bankruptcy estate.
- If you sent funds to someone other than Madoff Securities to make your investment or to add to it, Form IND is generally the correct form.
- If you personally have been receiving payments directly from the bankruptcy estate (and the entire investment belonged to you), then you do not need to file anything at this time. Unless you have already received payments equaling 100% of your allowed claim we will send you a Form DIR with your relevant claim information for updating and verification.
- If you held a direct account with Madoff Securities but for any reason did not file a claim in the bankruptcy, you should use Form DIR. Though we will send out prepopulated claims forms to most direct investors, you can send in your own Form DIR at any time, including if you believe information in the bankruptcy is not accurate, for example.
- If you are a partnership, family trust or other small investment group, your individual investors should file separately on Form IND. Even where the collective fund may have an "allowed" claim in the bankruptcy, if there were claims from multiple "third party" investors which were denied we will not send a prepopulated claim form due to the existence of multiple underlying investor claims.
- If you are an investment fund or the administrator of a feeder fund or investment partnership and you want to file a claim on behalf of your underlying investors then you should use Form PV. If you are an investor in such a fund, please use Form IND to make your own individual claim.
Each of the three forms is similar, and the most important thing is to file a claim with your supporting information.
► Q1.2. What if I don't know the Madoff account number or other information that Form IND asks for?
Do your best, and give us everything you can. Many indirect investors do not know the account number at Madoff Securities where their money ended up, and that is not a bar to filing. However, if you do know the account number it will facilitate our review.
In general, we will work with all claimants once we have a claim on file, even if some account information or other documentation is missing. However, this does not alter your responsibility to provide us with documentation demonstrating that your funds actually ended up in Madoff Securities, and the amount of your net investment loss.
► Q1.3. I am an indirect investor. Should I send in any of the account statements from the feeder fund or bank through which I invested? What time periods should I cover?
If you invested in Madoff Securities through a feeder fund, bank commingled account or similar pooled investment program, we would like you to provide a copy of the monthly statements FROM THAT ENTITY OR ITS CUSTODIAN that document every deposit/purchase and withdrawal/sale that ultimately flowed to or from Madoff Securities. We ALSO need you to provide us with the monthly statement that is dated closest to December 11, 2008. Even if your last investment or withdrawal was earlier than that, your statements from banks or others through which you invested - particularly the final statement - will help us work with you to document the absence of withdrawals. The statements should show both your name and account number.
If you have copies of your monthly statements from the beginning of your investments, you should include copies of all of these statements. Please send copies, but not originals, of your documentation. Demonstrating how much you withdrew from your investment, and that you did not make any other withdrawals, will be one of the most challenging tasks for an indirect investor.
► Q1.4. I am confused about the account information required by Section IA (page 5) of Form IND and Section IB (page 6). Can you clarify what I should submit? Whose address do I put down if the feeder fund in which I invested has been closed?
We are sorry for any confusion. We have tried to make the requirements clear and understandable, but there were so many different forms and structures used to collect investor cash that your own experience may not exactly match examples we give. Our overall goal is trying to learn as much as possible about your investment, and how it found its way into Madoff Securities.
Section 1A of Form IND is all about the CLAIMANT. The request at the top for "Account Information" refers to where your money eventually ended up when it got to Madoff Securities. However, if you do not know this Madoff Securities account number, leave it blank.
Section IB of Form IND is all about the POOLED ENTITY through which you invested, such as the feeder fund or a bank commingled account. The account numbers, addresses, contact information and other information requested in this section refer to the pooled investment vehicle and its personnel (or its liquidator or other representative if no longer in existence). If you do not have any of this information, you should still file the Form, but please try to tell us anything that would be helpful in understanding the fund through which you invested.
If you invested in a feeder fund but your investment was made through a custodian bank, then we would like to get information on both entities and any relevant accounts. If your monthly statements come from a custodian bank or similar institution, then we definitely need information concerning that account. However, we also need information on the specific feeder fund that initially received your money. Where there are a series of feeder funds the situation becomes even more complex, and Section III of Form IND requests information on any such situation. So, please give us as much information as you have.
► Q1.5. All your examples imply that the investor is an American. Are foreign investors eligible to recover from the MVF?
Absolutely. We never intended to suggest that the program is limited to American citizens. Any victim of the fraud at Madoff Securities is potentially eligible to recover, without limitation as to geography or nationality. In our eyes, a victim is a victim no matter where they lived.
► Q1.6. Our firm is advising many clients who lost money in Madoff. Are we allowed to submit claims on behalf of many similarly-situated investors collectively and have them treated as a group? Can we become a "pooled vehicle"?
No. A pooled vehicle is the entity through which an indirect investor placed his or her investment funds into Madoff, directly or indirectly. It is not a group established after the fact for purposes of filing claims.
The MVF program is focused on claims from individual investors, not "group claims". Every claim must ultimately be reviewed, verified and signed by the real investor, not an advisor, nominee or other representative. Claims filed by nominees with unnamed principals will not be accepted.
► Q1.7. I live in Europe and I have been approached by a firm which states that it is assisting people who invested through feeder funds by filing claims on their behalf. Are there any firms that have an established relationship with MVF for these purposes, and do I need to use one?
No and no. There are not any firms with a special relationship to the claims process. Investors willing to take the time can easily complete the process themselves, though we do not wish to discourage anyone from using advisors if they feel it is in their interest to do so. Ultimately your claim will be judged entirely on its own merits based on the facts of your individual investment. The decision on whether or not to use an advisor, and if so which one, is purely a matter for each former investor.
► Q1.8. Which entity is considered to be a "pool" for purposes of filing on behalf of its investors?
Such entities can include:
- A fund (with or without legal structure)
- An investment partnership
- An insurance company holding legal title to feeder fund shares on behalf of life insurance policies
- A nominee bank in the share register holding on behalf of ultimate beneficial owners
- An asset manager who purchased feeder fund shares on behalf of investors under discretionary investment powers
Depending on the facts, any of these types of firms or individuals may have operated in a manner such that they fall within our definition of a "pool". Where such an entity or individual has pertinent information that can assist the underlying investor in making a claim, it may file a Form PV on behalf of its investors. However, none of these entities are themselves eligible to make a claim, and the actual investor must ultimately sign the claim on his or her own behalf in order to obtain a recovery. We will also pay individual claimants directly, rather than through intermediaries. Wherever possible individual investors should complete their own Form IND, though in many cases the operator of the feeder fund or pool will have data concerning cash transfers that will prove very helpful if either furnished directly to their client or filed with MVF on Form PV.
► Q1.9. In calculating my cash-in, cash-out investment total, if the named entity on the account differed over time can I limit my claim to a single account, or to a specific time period?
Absolutely not. You MUST swear to the accuracy AND COMPLETENESS of your claim information. You must include all accounts that you ever held, directly or indirectly, with investments in Madoff Securities, and you must demonstrate your deposits and withdrawals of cash from the time of your first investment. In determining if your withdrawals exceeded deposits (in which case you are not eligible), the information we review must be comprehensive, not selective.
► Q1.10. What if I submitted a claim in the bankruptcy that was rejected under a former address, but I have subsequently moved to another country and now have a different tax ID. Should I submit my former address and former tax ID, or the current new ones?
We will be matching some claims to data from the bankruptcy, so we would appreciate a supplemental sheet showing both your old address and tax ID from when you filed before, as well as your current information.
► Q1.11. I submitted a claim form and documentation in the bankruptcy proceedings, but my claim was denied. Can you use the information I previously filed, or do I have to file a new claim?
If you had a bankruptcy claim that was denied, you have to file a new claim with MVF, including supporting documentation.
► Q1.12. I invested in a hedge fund of funds ("FoF") through my bank. The Hedge FoF then invested on my behalf in Fairfield Sentry (or Kingate Euro Fund, Luxalpha, Primeo Select, Thema International, etc.). How do I fill out my Form DIR? Should I list the account number of the bank, of the hedge fund of funds, or of Fairfield (or Kingate, etc.)?
First, please don't use Form DIR unless you had a direct account with Madoff Securities. Every other actual investor should file a Form IND.
Second, as to account numbers, we are sorry for any confusion. Ultimately to make a successful claim you must show us each step in the chain of how your money made its way to Madoff. If funds were given to a custodian bank, then invested in a fund of funds, and ultimately invested in Fairfield (or Kingate, etc.), then we will need the account number (and contact if you have one) at the bank, the FoF, AND Fairfield (or Kingate, etc) if you have one. You will have to document each step in the chain, and we realize that the more levels there were in your investment chain, the more complicated it will be to assemble the documentation required for a claim. Please give us copies of all relevant account statements and attach all the supplemental sheets you need.
► Q1.13. What if I don't know the exact percentage of each investment in Fairfield (or Kingate, etc.) that was passed along to Madoff Securities?
The percentage of investment column in the transactions table is intended for situations where investors had multiple different accounts that invested in Madoff, in different percentages. But if you don't know what percentage of an investment in a feeder fund went into Madoff, that is perfectly fine for purposes of filing. Just give us the details and account statements that you do have.
► Q1.14. I am the managing partner of a family and friends partnership that invested in Madoff, and the partnership has an allowed claim in the bankruptcy. It seems complicated to fill out information on each investor's transactions. Can't you just pay me as the managing partner, and let me distribute funds to our partners as I see fit?
No, absolutely not. In many cases, the managing partners of investment partnerships or feeder funds will be ineligible to recover if they received significant compensation for directing the money of others into Madoff, or if they personally withdrew more than they invested. In other cases, the administrator of a fund might be a receiver or other fiduciary with conflicting legal duties with respect to distributions.
MVF's funds belong to the United States of America, and those funds will be allocated to specific individuals in accordance with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Justice governing distribution of forfeited assets. So, we cannot allow managers to dictate whether victims are paid the correct amount. If an individual investor wishes to receive compensation, they really need to fill out their own claim and send it to us. As the former managing partner or administrator of a partnership, we hope that you will help your investors by providing them with necessary account statements or other records to complete their individual claims.
► Q1.15. Our bank made a loan to a feeder fund, which defaulted when Madoff failed. Is the bank eligible to file with MVF?
No. To be eligible, you must have invested funds that ultimately belonged to you into Madoff Securities, either directly or through another entity. If you made a loan to another entity, you didn't make an investment of your own funds into Madoff.
► Q1.16. Do I really need to read your FAQs and each update carefully?
We hope you will do so. We try to cover situations that reflect actual questions we are being asked by multiple potential victims. By reading the FAQs, you will get answers faster than through individual inquiries.
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