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Madoff Trustee Seeks Approval For Allowance of Interim Compensation

On August 1, 2012, the Irving H. Picard (“Trustee”), Trustee for the Liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (“BLMIS”), filed a Motion for Allowance of Interim Compensation for Services Rendered between October 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012 with Judge Burton R. Lifland in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The Trustee seeks to recover $48,107,863.80 for legal services rendered, and $866,625.44 in expenses incurred, by Baker & Hostetler LLP for a 4 month period. In addition, various other firms acting as special counsel to the Trustee filed similar motions seeking to recover $1,788,698.96 for the legal services rendered, and $562,814.67 for expenses incurred, during the 4 month period. This was the ninth application for interim compensation made by Baker & Hostetler LLP. All of the previous applications made by the Trustee, and his counsel, have received blanket approvals from Judge Lifland. Astoundingly, pursuant to Judge Lifland’s Order Approving the Eighth Application For Allowance of Compensation For Services Rendered And Reimbursement For Expenses, entered on March 19, 2012, the Trustee and Baker & Hostetler LLP were cumulatively compensated in the amount of $273,066,911.54 from December 2008 through September 30, 2011. Assuming this Ninth Application for Interim Compensation is approved by Judge Lifland, the Trustee and Baker & Hostetler LLP will be cumulatively compensated for legal services in the amount of $321,174,775.34 from December 2008 through January 31, 2012. Many victims and others believe that the immensely high legal fees incurred by the Trustee’s counsel present a blatant conflict of interest, and should raise the question of whether the Trustee’s efforts are truly in the best interest of the BLMIS estate, or whether his efforts are meant to prolong the process in an attempt to line his own pockets while potentially violating the due process rights of the Madoff victims. Objections to the Trustee’s Motion are due on August 22, 2012 by 4 p.m., and oral argument on the matter will take place on August 29, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.