$534M Paid to Madoff Victims; $4.5B to Go

Trustee has recovered $1.4 billion in clawbacks, with more to come
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 2:38 PM CDT
Bernard Madoff.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The government fund that insures brokerage firms has so far paid 1,368 victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme $534 million in reparations—more than it has paid out in all its previous liquidations combined, in its almost 40 years in existence. And it ain’t over, Madoff trustee Irving Picard tells the Boston Globe. He’s identified $4.43 billion in legitimate claims so far, and has thousands more to go.

Picard is also in the process of trying to claw back earnings from investors who managed to withdraw more than they put in, and has so far recovered $1.4 billion. And “there will definitely be further lawsuits,” he says, though he will exercise discretion. “We’re not going to be suing people who don’t have money.” If you’re dead, that’s another story. While Jeffry Picower’s death was “tragic,” Picard still plans to go after the investor’s $7.2 billion take—perhaps even bigger than Madoff’s.