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Court upholds trustee's tally of Madoff losses

Financier Bernard Madoff leaves federal court March 10, 2009, in New York City.
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NEW YORK - A federal appeals court agrees with the method a trustee used to calculate how much each investor lost in the multibillion-dollar fraud carried out by Bernard Madoff.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a written decision Tuesday that investors are only entitled to recover the amount they originally invested with Madoff.

Lawyers for investors had argued that they should be entitled to recover profits as well.

Madoff had told thousands of investors just before his December 2008 arrest that their investments had more than tripled. Madoff claimed the original investment of about $20 billion had grown to more than $60 billion. Prosecutors say it was actually a Ponzi scheme.

Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence after admitting the massive multi-decade fraud.

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Last week, the Connecticut Appellate Court ruled that the town of Fairfield may not make claims for losses due to Madoff's fraud.

The state's second highest court ruled 3-0 that a Stamford Superior Court judge had correctly decided that Fairfield was only indirectly affected by the actions of two partners in an investment firm accused of conspiring with Madoff.

As a result, the judge said Fairfield does not have standing to claim for $42 million its pension fund lost.

Richard Robinson, a lawyer representing the town, said the town had direct contact with people involved in a conspiracy with the two partners.

The Appellate Court also said Fairfield did not allege that Peter B. Madoff, the investor's brother, played a role in inducing the town to invest, which it said undermines the town's lawsuit.