Minneapolis Profit-Sharing Plan Also Victim of Ponzi Scheme

The list of retirement plan victims of a huge Ponzi scheme authorities claim was run by Bernard Madoff continues to grow.

The entire profit-sharing plan run by suburban Minneapolis drugmaker Upsher-Smith Laboratories was placed with Madoff’s firm.

A news report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune said Joel Green, general counsel and vice president of legal affairs at Upsher-Smith, declined to estimate how much money might be lost and how many past and current Upsher-Smith employees are affected.

But the newspaper said that because federal regulators froze assets in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC as part of their probe of Madoff, Upsher-Smith’s employees can’t access their account balances. The firm has about 550 workers.

Former employees told reporters that most Upsher-Smith workers qualified for the profit-sharing plan and that some had built up more than $100,000 in their accounts. Employees were told that their assets were frozen and they would get further information.

The company may also suffer because members of the Evenstad family, who own a majority of Upsher-Smith’s stock, also invested with Madoff, the newspaper said. Employees speculated that those family losses could affect the company’s drug development plans.

According to the Star Tribune, Upsher-Smith said it wants to have four new drugs on the market by 2017, including a drug that helps treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

See also: “401(k) Plan Invested with Madoff