More Madoff money recovered for victims

More Madoff money recovered for victims
Victims of Bernard Madoff, who was behind the largest Ponzi scheme in American history, will see over $378 million distributed by the Department of Justice.  (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Securities Investor Protection Corporation trustee in charge of liquidating Bernard Madoff’s investments is prepared to distribute nearly  $600 million to the thousands of clients defrauded by the former Roslyn resident’s Ponzi scheme.

In a statement, trustee Irving Picard said the group has so far distributed approximately $10.2 billion from the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC to former accountholders and is now preparing to distribute another $584 million.

Payments will be made to the holders of 2,625 approved claims who were defrauded by the $17 billion Ponzi scheme run by Madoff, now 79, through his investment firm.

The distribution represents 3.6 percent of each allowed claim and is expected to begin after the approval hearing set for 10 a.m. Jan. 31.

“Given the size and scope of the fraud, this is extraordinary progress,” Picard said in a statement. “And we are not done yet.”

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Nov. 9 the Madoff Victim Fund began its initial distribution of $772.5 million in forfeited funds connected to the Ponzi scheme.

The monies were divided between 24,631 victims internationally and represent the first in a series of payments to eventually return more than $4 billion to victims as compensation for their losses from the collapse of Madoff’s firm.

“Bernie Madoff committed one of history’s largest and most devastating frauds,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in a statement. “This office not only prosecuted Madoff himself and others who helped perpetrate his fraud, but has remained committed to recovering money for his victims. To date, this office has recovered more than $9 billion for the innocent victims of Madoff’s fraud, and today’s distribution of $770 million — the single largest distribution of forfeited funds in the Department’s history — is part of our ongoing commitment to not only prosecute criminals but also find relief for victims.”

In June, more than $23 million in assets were recovered from the estates of Madoff’s late sons Mark and Andrew as well as Mark’s widow Stephanie Mack.

Madoff, who was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies in March of 2009, admitting he had turned his wealth management business into the world’s largest Ponzi scheme to benefit himself, his family and select friends.

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