Ruth Madoff May Not Keep Her $2.5M For Long

Victims can still sue swindler's wife to recoup losses
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2009 11:05 AM CDT
The building in midtown Manhattan in New York where Bernard Madoff and wife Ruth own a penthouse apartment is seen in this aerial view, March 22, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – When she leaves her Manhattan penthouse, Ruth Madoff will have a mere $2.5 million to her name—and she might not have that for long either, Newsday reports. Madoff’s deal with the government—in which she’ll gives up more than $80 million in assets, keeping just the aforementioned cash—doesn’t prevent victims of the Ponzi scheme run by husband Bernard Madoff from suing her.

One bankruptcy trustee said he’d sue Madoff family members “at the appropriate time.” The pension fund for the town of Fairfield, Conn., has already filed a suit. The attorney says town officials know Madoff’s deal with the feds deserves deference, “but $2.5 million is a lot of money.” But other lawyers believe that, since Madoff hasn’t been charged with a crime, there’s little basis for a case.