GLOBAL - The fallout from the scandal surrounding Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities could affect three million people worldwide, estimates by Spanish law firm Cremades & Calvo Sotelo reveal.
According to the information compiled by the law firm, the victims directly or indirectly affected by the alleged Ponzi scheme come from countries including the UK, the US, Germany, Austria, Spain, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Israel, South Africa, Bahamas and many others.
In a statement, Cremades & Calvo Sotelo president Javier Cremades commented: "The difference between individual and institutional investors is often highlighted and I believe it could make sense from a due diligence point of view.
"However, there are individuals behind institutional investors which have been equally and unfairly damaged."
In addition, the law firm claimed losses related to the case would be higher than the current estimated of $50bn - as the alleged Ponzi scheme would be based on a pyramidal system created and reiterated over several years.
The law firm said there were company pension funds among its clients, together with SICAVs, foundations, charities and insurance companies.
The list of affected financial entities includes some of the most important players at a global level. It includes Banco de Santander, BBVA, Credit Swiss, BNP, Banesto, Fortis Bank, Barclays, Banque Bénédict Hentsch, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, Kingate Management, Medici Bank, Fairfield Greenwich Group, HSBC, among others.
It added the initial group of around 30 law firms collaborating on the case was insufficient. It estimates the Madoff case will involve approximately 300 law firms and 45,000 lawyers.
Cremades & Calvo Sotelo has filed a class action together with law firm Labaton & Sucarow. The action is currently open in Miami until 27 March 2009.
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