) -- The trustee representing the estate of Bernard Madoff filed a lawsuit Friday against Bank Medici AG and its founder arguing a two-decade long "criminal relationship" existed between the Austrian bank and Madoff.

On the second anniversary of Madoff's arrest, attorney Irving Picard filed the suit in Manhattan against Vienna-based Bank Medici and its founder Sonja Kohn seeking $19.6 billion in restitution for Madoff's fraud victims.

"In Sonja Kohn, Madoff found a criminal soul mate, whose greed and dishonest inventiveness equaled his own," Picard said in a statement issued by Trustee for the liquidation for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC."

The lawsuit, filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Kohn and Madoff conspired for more than 23 years through a combination of money laundering, mail and wire fraud, and financial institution fraud. The suit alleges that Kohn acted "as a as a mechanism to solicit investors for the Ponzi scheme" throughout Europe.

Prior to filing against Medici and Kohn, Picard has filed lawsuits this week

seeking damages against several banks and securities firms including





(C) - Get Report


JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report


Bank of America Merrill Lynch

(BAC) - Get Report



Written by Christopher Westfall in New York.