Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Bernie Madoff Ponzi Victims in Line for Another $247M in Restitution

Nearly 7-1/2 years after Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was unmasked, the court-appointed trustee recouping money for the swindler’s victims on Thursday sought court approval to free up another $247 million to help cover their losses.

The proposed payout would be the seventh by the trustee Irving Picard, and follows several recent settlements to recoup sums from other firms that once did business with Madoff.

Once the distribution is made, eligible recipients will have recouped about $9.45 billion, Picard said.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein is expected to review the payout at a June 15 hearing in Manhattan.

Picard noted that the proposed distribution would be the smallest so far, but in a statement said: “It is vital to move expeditiously to return stolen Madoff funds to the rightful owners. The victims have waited years for restitution.”

Madoff’s fraud was uncovered in December 2008. Now 78, Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud in March 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison term.

About $171 million of the latest payout would go to 972 former customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC immediately, while about $76 million would be held back pending the outcome of other litigation.

Individual distributions would range from about $137 to about $28.7 million, the trustee said.

This would result in full payments on 1,289 of the 2,597 Madoff accounts with valid claims, including everyone owed $1.2 million or less, the trustee said.

Picard has recovered or reached agreements to recover roughly $11.13 billion, more than three-fifths of the $17.5 billion of principal he has said Madoff customers lost.

The sums administered by Picard are separate from a $4 billion U.S. Department of Justice fund overseen by former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden.

Last week, Breeden said he expects to recommend payouts to at least 25,280 claimants, including people who invested with Madoff through third parties. Breeden expects to submit formal recommendations by the end of August.—Reuters

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.