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Swiss bank reaches accord with Madoff trustee

The trustee seeking money for victims of jailed American stockbroker Bernard Madoff has reached a settlement of about $500 million (SFr490 million) with a Swiss bank.

Madoff, a former non-executive chairman of the Nasdaq stock market in the United States, was arrested at the end of 2008 and charged with securities fraud.

The deal between trustee Irving Picard and private Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), based in Geneva, ensures UBP will pay $470 million to benefit Madoff’s victims.

“The UBP settlement agreement is the largest feeder fund bank cash settlement to date and the first major international bank settlement,” Picard, the New York lawyer appointed as trustee, said on Tuesday.

Picard had filed 100 law suits in November in a bid to recover $18.5 billion, including $2 billion from Swiss bank UBS.

Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina after admitting he directed the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. The financial investor fraud is named after Charles Ponzi, an Italian considered one of the greatest swindlers in US history.

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