Late Madoff Investor to Return $7.2B to Victims Nearly half cash losses now recovered By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Dec 17, 2010 12:50 PM CST 8 comments Comments Bernard Madoff arrives at federal court in New York, in this March 12, 2009, file photo. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) (Newser) – The pool of funds available to Bernie Madoff's victims is about to expand by $7.2 billion, thanks to a deal with the biggest beneficiary of the Ponzi scheme. The estate of Florida philanthropist Jeffry Picower has agreed to “return every penny received from almost 35 years of investing with Bernard Madoff,” it said in a statement. Insiders say it’s the “largest civil forfeiture payment in American judiciary history,” the New York Times notes. Picower’s wife called Madoff’s scheme “deplorable,” noting that she was sure her husband wasn’t in on it. “This settlement honors what Jeffry would have wanted, which is to return this money so that it can go directly to the victims.” Trustee Irvin Picard says cash losses totaled $20 billion; he had already pulled together $2.3 billion. With the Picower money, investors who took less from their Madoff accounts than they put in could now get nearly half their losses back.