Abu Dhabi Fund Hit by Madoff Scam

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Abu Dhabi, Dec 21: An Abu Dhabi government-owned fund may have fallen victim to the massive US pyramid fraud that conned investors around the world, reports claimed yesterday.

The New York Times said the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) - the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund with assets estimated at up to $875 billion - had indirectly put $400 million into Bernard Madoff’s scheme in 2005.

“The investment authority had invested approximately $400 million with Mr Madoff, by way of the Fairfield Sentry Fund, according to a profile of the firm that it prepared for a prospective buyer in 2007,” the newspaper wrote.

“Fairfield Sentry had more than $7 billion invested with Mr Madoff and was his largest investor; now, it says, it is his largest victim.”

The New York Times said ADIA was one of Fairfield Sentry’s biggest investors, and even though it took “two significant redemptions” from the fund in April 2005 and 2006, its $132 million stake the following year still made up two per cent of the fund’s assets under management.

The level of ADIA’s exposure to Madoff’s Ponzi scheme at the time of its collapse was not clear, and the authority could not be reached for comment.

But Abu Dhabi yesterday set up a new financial watchdog - named as the Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority - to ensure state “resources and funds are managed, collected and expended efficiently”, the WAM news agency reported. 

The UAE is one of the top ten countries looking for information on Madoff, who is now under 24-hour house arrest in New York, according to analysis by DubaiBeat.com on Google search trends.


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