Irving Picard, the trustee seeking money for victims of the Bernie Madoff scam, is suing HSBC Holdings (HBC) and feeder funds for at least $9 billion.
Picard said that HSBC and a network of funds in Europe, the Caribbean and Central America sent Madoff more than $8.9 billion in business while ignoring indications that he was engaged in fraud, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"Had HSBC and the defendants reacted appropriately to such warnings and other obvious badges of fraud outlined in the complaint, the Madoff Ponzi scheme would have collapsed years, billions of dollars and countless victims sooner," Picard said in a statement. "The defendants were willfully and deliberately blind to the fraud, even after learning about numerous red flags surrounding Madoff."
The suit seeks to recover $9 billion plus additional damages.
Madoff is currently serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina for engineering the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the United States. His fraud cost investors including wealthy individuals and charities billions of dollars.
Picard has until Dec. 11 to file lawsuits in an attempt to recover funds from investors who received profits under the Ponzi scheme or persons or institutions that he feels aided the fraud.