Bank Austria wins dismissal of some Madoff claims

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Manhattan federal judge has dismissed some claims against Bank Austria, a unit of Italy's UniCredit SpA <CRDI.MI>, by the trustee seeking billions of dollars for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff on Saturday granted Bank Austria's request to dismiss so-called common law claims brought by the trustee Irving Picard.

This followed Rakoff's dismissal on July 28 of similar claims totaling $8.6 billion against UniCredit, HSBC Holdings Plc <HSBA.L> and other defendants, saying the trustee did not have the power to bring those claims.

Bank Austria sought the dismissal after Rakoff indicated that this rationale would apply to additional defendants.

Rakoff's order was made public on Monday.

Picard has filed roughly 1,050 lawsuits seeking more than $103 billion for Madoff victims. Many defendants have challenged his authority to sue, or else claimed that they are victims of Madoff's fraud and should not pay anything.

The case is Picard v. HSBC Bank Plc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Nos. 11-00763 and 11-00836.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Carol Bishopric)