The lawsuit names Kohn, Bank Medici, Bank Austria, UniCredit SpA and dozens of other parties. It seeks
14.83€billion tripled to 44.5€billion under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It’s by far the biggest claim filed by Picard, who has sued investors, banks, feeder funds and others seeking money to pay investors with valid claims.
In the 153-page complaint against Kohn, Picard claims she told investors she was very close to Madoff and could deliver higher returns on investments made through his firm. Instead, Madoff was secretly paying Kohn, who knew Madoff was running a fraud, to funnel money into the Ponzi scheme, Picard said.
According to Picard, Kohn ran her own complex scheme centered on Bank Medici, parts of which overlapped with Madoff’s own fraudulent enterprise, delivering
6.89€billion into the Ponzi scheme. They funneled billion of the total through feeder funds including Primeo Fund, Thema International, Herald Fund Alpha Prime Fund, Senator Fund and Herald (Lux), which placed all of their investors’ money with Madoff, according to Picard. Travel Kitty: €405Million Withdrawal
Shortly before Madoff confessed, in December 2008, Kohn withdrew
405.63€million from Madoff’s firm, Picard said. She also took steps to hide her connection to him, Picard said.
Bank Medici operated as a branch of Bank Austria, which administered its accounts, according to Picard. In return, Bank Austria, which is named as a defendant, was paid at least
Bank Medici renamed itself 2020 Medici AG after Austria’s Financial Markets Authority withdrew the company’s banking license because of insufficient capital in May 2009.
Andreas Theiss, a lawyer for Kohn, didn’t respond to a call to his cell phone or an e-mail seeking comment.
“Our attorneys are reviewing the matter and we will manage this through the normal course legal process,” Martin Halama, a spokesman for Bank Austria, said yesterday in an e-mail. “We intend to defend ourselves vigorously.”