According to a press release dated January 27, 2009, the complaint's principal allegation is that Defendants were negligent and reckless in investing substantially all of the assets of the Strategic US Equity Fund with Bernard L. Madoff ("Madoff") and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC ("BMIS") without conducting reasonable and adequate due diligence.
The Defendants include (i) Banco Santander, S.A.; (ii) Banco Santander International; (iii) Optimal Investment Services, S.A.; (iv) PricewaterhouseCoopers (Ireland); (v) HSBC Securities Services Ltd. (Ireland); (vi) HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Ireland) Ltd.; (vii) Manuel Echeverría Falla; (viii) Anthony L.M. InderRieden; and (ix) Brian Wilkinson.
As alleged in the complaint, Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing materially false and misleading statements about their due diligence and oversight of Madoff and BMIS. Among the allegedly false statements made in the Explanatory Memorandum dated January 7, 2008, that was distributed to investors was the assurance that Optimal "bases its investment decisions on a careful analysis of many investment managers." The complaint further asserts that had the Defendants conducted a reasonably "careful analysis" of Madoff and BMIS, Defendants would not have lost billions of dollars belonging to theinvestors.
In addition, the complaint also alleges common law causes of action,including breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and professional malpractice.
On April 17, 2009, the Court appointed Santander Investor Group to serve as lead plaintiff in the Action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(3)(B). The Court also granted the plaintiffs’ request to apppoint Labaton Sucharow LLP and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP as co-lead counsel.
On October 21, 2009, an amended complaint was filed in the action.
On July 30, 2010, two accompanying orders were issued by the court dismissing the case based on lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens.
On August 25, 2010, a Notice of Appeal was filed by the plaintiffs. On October 11, 2011, a Mandate was issued by the United States Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the district court.