Lehman Brothers has accused Barclays Capital of taking $8.2 billion more than it should have when it bought key assets of the failed investment bank a year ago.
Lehman made its claim in a court filing Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of its chaotic bankruptcy filing. The court approved the sale of its U.S. banking business to Barclays less than a week after it filed.
Now Lehman wants a judge to force Barclays to give back some of the money it took as part of the deal, including $5 billion it said was given as extra collateral. Lehman said the extra value was not disclosed to the court.
"Because of these undisclosed and unauthorized features of the deal, Barclays received billions more than the value it paid," Lehman lawyers wrote in an argument to the court.
A Barclays spokesman, Michael O'Looney, said Lehman is simply making "an opportunistic claim."
"Now that the economy has begun to stabilize the Lehman Estate is trying to re-trade the deal on the basis of a meritless argument," O'Looney said by e-mail.
Lehman said Barclays took the $5 billion as well as another $2.3 billion in margin deposits on its Options Clearing Corp. accounts, and about $2.7 billion in other assests added before the court's approval of the sale. It said Barclays took on about $1.7 billion in liabilities.
"The number may be even larger" than $8.2 billion, Lehman lawyers wrote in their brief, saying there were other assets that Lehman has yet to calculate.
The are also likely being explored in an independent investigation by Anton Valukas, a lawyer at the Jenner & Block law firm who was appointed as the examiner in the case.
Valukas, a former federal prosecutor and a specialist in white-collar crime, started his investigation in January and has yet to file his report. He will determine, in part, whether Lehman executives lied, committed fraud or mismanaged the company.
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy case was filed in the Southern District of New York. The filing marked the end of what was once the nation's fourth-largest investment bank.