Law firm defending Madoff victims hail sentence
The head of a Spanish law firm defending victims of Bernard Madoff welcomed the swindler's 150-year sentence.Madrid – The head of a Spanish law firm defending victims of Bernard Madoff Monday welcomed the swindler's 150-year sentence but said it does not address the suffering he inflicted on thousands of people.
Javier Cremades, the president of the firm Cremades and Calvo-Sotelo, described the sentence as "exemplary" but said "the time has now come for the victims."
A judge in New York Monday ordered Wall Street swindler Madoff jailed for 150 years, the maximum sentence for his multi-billion dollar scam that ruined Hollywood clients and middle-class pensioners alike.
Cremades announced in February that his firm was heading a global alliance of 35 law firms representing almost 5,000 lawyers from 22 countries to defend victims of the scam perpetrated by Madoff.
The law firms involved believe the affair could generate 22,000 legal cases throughout the world. The victims include investment funds and banks as well as private individuals.
In a statement Monday, Cremades noted that Spain's Banco Santander, the eurozone's largest bank by market capitalization, was the most exposed financial institution in Madoff's multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Santander last month agreed to a EUR 167.9 million (USD 235 million) settlement of any legal claims by the US trustee.
In December the bank announced that Optimal Investment Services, a branch of Santander, had a total exposure of EUR 2.33 billion to the Madoff scheme, while Santander itself was exposed to the tune of EUR 17 million.
AFP / Expatica