According to a press release dated April 20, 2009, the complaint charges Meridian, Meridian Diversified and their officers and/or partners with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933 and ERISA. Meridian is an alternative investment adviser offering funds of hedge funds to institutional and high net worth investors and acts as the managing member of Meridian Diversified.
The complaint alleges that Meridian Diversified placed significant amounts of investor money into funds managed by Madoff and his firm. Madoff has now been charged with running what may be the largest Ponzi scheme ever. Unbeknownst to investors in its Funds, Meridian Diversified had invested 6% to 8% of its clients’ funds in Madoff-managed investments. This was contrary to the duties Meridian Diversified had to its investors of good faith and fair dealing and contrary to the representations Meridian Diversified had made regarding its processes for selecting fund managers. As a result of defendants’ breaches of fiduciary duty and false statements, investors made additional investments in the Funds and/or held shares they would have redeemed.
On August 11, 2009, the case was transferred to the Southern District of New York under Multi-District Litigation in In Re: Meridian Funds Group Securities & Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Litigation, case number 1:09-md-02082-TPG.
On October 22, 2009, by Judge Thomas P. Griesa consolidated several actions for pretrial proceedings under the MDL case number, 09md2082. Pension Trust for Operating Engineers is appointed Lead Plaintiff, and the law firm of Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP is appointed Lead Counsel for plaintiffs. On December 10, 2010, the lead plaintiff filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint. On February 8, 2011, a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal was filed, voluntarily dismissing defendant Meridian Diversified Fund, Ltd., from the action. On February 15 and October 25, 2011, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the Consolidated Class Action Complaint.
On March 29, 2012, the Court issued an order granting the defendants' motions to dismiss, with leave to amend.
On January 7, 2013, the Court issued an Opinion granting in part and denying in part Defendant's motion to dismiss. On January 22, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Reconsideration of this Opinion. On April 16, the Court issued an Opinion denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration of the January 17, 2013 Opinion.
On March 13, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting defendants' motion to dismiss.
On April 11, 2016, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement. The Court preliminarily approved the Settlement the next day. On September 7, the Court entered a Final Judgment approving the Settlement and dismissed this case with prejudice.