Lowey Dannenberg Secures Final Approval of $219 Million Settlement for Local Unions in Madoff Feeder Fund Cases

At a final fairness hearing held on March 15, 2013, the Honorable Colleen McMahon granted final approval to the Beacon Jeanneret Madoff Settlement and the Plan of Allocation of the Net Settlement Fund.  This $219 million settlement resolves lawsuits brought by the Settling Plaintiffs, including Private Plaintiffs, the United States Secretary of Labor and the New York Attorney General, against the Settling Defendants involving the In re Beacon, In re Jeanneret and Buffalo Laborers class actions. The recovery represents approximately 70% of investors’ out-of-pocket losses.

The cases involve Ivy Asset Management and investments with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities through Beacon Associates and Andover Associates, which were managed by Joel Danziger and Harris Markhoff (White Plains advisers), the Income Plus Investment Fund, and investments made pursuant to the advice of J.P. Jeanneret Associates, Inc. (an upstate adviser).

Lowey Dannenberg represents the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 267 Pension and Insurance Funds, the Plumbers Local 112 Health Fund, the Local 73 Retirement and Annuity Funds and the U.A. of Journeymen & Apprentices Local 73 Fund.  These local unions were appointed by the Court to serve as Lead Plaintiffs in the In re Beacon and In re J.P. Jeanneret Class actions.  At the hearing, the Court noted:

And, yes, the fact that there was no objection to it reflects the hard work that all of you put into trying to get a global resolution of all of these cases, whether class actions or private actions where ever they were pending, whether arbitrations or in court to get a global resolution of these disputes relating principally to Ivy achieved so that we can get them all behind us.  You worked very hard.  The settlement process really was quite extraordinary.

This settlement, combined with money the victims are expected to recover from a separate liquidation of Madoff assets, is expected to restore the bulk of the pension funds for the local unions and other class members.

In an effort to ensure that Class Members were fully apprised of their rights under the Settlement, investors were invited to participate in a conference call to ask questions regarding the Settlement and the Plan of Allocation.  Participants included Lead Counsel, other plaintiffs’ counsel, and representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York Attorney General.  The Classes overwhelmingly supported the settlement and plan of allocation, with 100% of all Class Members  who are receiving a distribution under the Plan of Allocation filing proof of claim forms.  At the final fairness hearing, the Court noted: “[i]n the history of the world there has never been such a response to a notice of a class action settlement that I am aware of, certainly, not in my experience.”