MADOFF FRAUD

US class action suit targets Santander

Investors have filed a class action suit in a US court against Spanish bank Santander, one of the worst hit by the Madoff fraud scandal, in a bid to recover money lost by the bank's Optimal investment fund.

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AFP - A class action suit has been filed in a US court against Spanish bank Santander in the name of investors who say they lost money in an alleged fraud by US financier Bernard Madoff, lawyers said Tuesday.

The law offices of Ceremades and Calvo Sotello, along with the US firm Lobaton and Sucharow, said in a statement that the complaint targeted Santander and its Optimal investment fund, which had investments with Madoff.

Attorney Javier Ceremades said the aim was to organise "an overall response," coordinated by several international law offices, because "people want to recover their money."

The complaint was filed on Monday with a court in Miami, Florida representing "all persons who on December 10, 2008 had investments in the Optimal Strategic Fund," the lawyers' statement said.

Santander, Spain's largest bank, said it was exposed in the alleged fraud run by Madoff to the extent of 2.3 billion euros (3.0 billion dollars).

Madoff, a former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market, was arrested last month after allegedly confessing to a 50-billion-dollar pyramid fraud.

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