Bernard Madoff’s victims are getting big checks as the trustee unwinding his fraud sends out $1.2 billion in recovered funds, with checks averaging $1.1 million. This payout is the biggest in over three years and comes a week before the anniversary of Madoff’s December 11, 2008 arrest, when thousands of retirees, charities, investment funds, and other clients realized they had lost $17.5 billion in principal in the decades-old Ponzi scheme.
The distribution beginning today raises the victims’ recoveries to $9.16 billion, about 57% of their lost funds, according to trustee Irving Picard. Picard said that checks will range from $1,298 to $202 million and when this payout, which is the sixth distribution of funds, is complete nearly 1,300 victims will have been made whole.
Picard stated that his recoveries “exceed similar efforts related to prior Ponzi scheme recoveries, in terms of dollar value and percentage of stolen funds recovered.” He will send another $320 million after pending litigation is resolved.
The distribution was made possible in October after the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from victims who argued for years that they should receive interest on their losses. These customers who invested with Madoff for years claimed to have combined losses of about $64 billion, including profit from fake securities trading.
The U.S. Department of Justice has not paid anything from its $2.35 billion Madoff Victim Fund, part of a forfeiture agreement with one of Madoff’s biggest customers. The fund has been reviewing tens of thousands of claims since December 2012.
Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 and is serving a 150-year sentence. Last year, a jury convicted five of his top aides.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.