The trustee who has been recovering assets in the massive Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme wants to give an additional $247 million back to victims of the fraud, a distribution that would raise the amount of funds returned to investors to $9.45 billion, according to legal papers filed today in Manhattan federal bankruptcy court.
Irving Picard, whose legal team has been working since December 2008 in a worldwide search for customer funds, said that the latest distribution, if approved by the court, would be the seventh he has made in the $17.4 billion scam. Picard has recovered more than $11 billion in funds.
The funds are being returned to customers who have approved claims, which currently number 2,597. Thousands of other investors have had their claims denied by Picard, either because they received from Madoff more money than they invested with him or because they indirectly invested through various hedge fund.
Since October 2011, Picard has returned billions of dollars in recovered funds, with the largest disbursement coming in September 2012 which amounted to nearly $ 5 billion. If the latest planned distribution is made it would represent a return to investors of 58.23 percent of their losses.
Customers have also separately received $836 million in advances from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.
‘The victims have waited years for restitution,” Picard said in a statement. “This distribution is somewhat smaller than our prior actions, but is still significant, especially for the additional claimants whose claims now will be fully satisfied.”