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Madoff Trustee's $6B More To Compensate Victims a Step Closer

Image: Madoff Trustee's $6B More To Compensate Victims a Step Closer

Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 07:13 AM

By Michael Mullins

Madoff trustee Irving Picard, a New York attorney whose clients formerly owned some 1,080 accounts with the disgraced financier, is on the brink or recouping nearly $6 billion of their stolen money should a federal bankruptcy judge approve his latest request made on Tuesday.

The payout, if granted, would amount to $349 million going to the Bernie Madoff fraud victims he represents, which Picard says would increase his total recouped funds for the victims to just over $5.9 billion, Reuters reported. The bulk of the latest payout would come from a $325 million settlement of claims filed by Picard against JPMorgan Chase & Co., which was once Madoff's main bank. Payments would reportedly range from $496 to $77.3 million.

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"Our commitment is simple: to recover the maximum amount of funds stolen in the Madoff Ponzi scheme and to distribute these funds to their rightful owners as quickly as possible," Picard said in a statement.

A partner with the NYC law firm Baker & Hostetler, Picard told CNBC that the total amount of money redeemed for Madoff victims, which includes both past and present clients, amounts to nearly $9.8 billion, which he says means that all direct victims – those with claims of $925,000 or less – will have recovered their entire principal.

The nearly $9.8 billion recovered for clients amounts to approximately 56 cents on the dollar of actual losses, Picard adds, considering the attorney estimates the disgraced financier had some $17.5 billion invested with him.

On Friday, Picard billed his clients for $39.3 million on behalf of his firm, which consists of some 200-plus attorneys.

On Monday, five former Madoff employees were convicted of aiding the ex-financier in his Ponzi scheme, rejecting claims that Madoff acted alone.

Daniel Bonventre, 67, Madoff's ex-director of operations; Annette Bongiorno, 65, a former executive assistant who managed the firm's longest-standing clients; JoAnn Crupi, 52, who oversaw the company's bank account; and former Madoff computer programmers Jerome O'Hara, 50, and George Perez, 48 were all convicted on various charges.

The 75-year-old Madoff is currently serving a 150-year prison term in a North Carolina federal prison after having pled guilty in 2009 to defrauding investors in a decades-long Ponzi scheme.

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