Victims of the Ponzi scheme perpetuated by convicted fraudster Bernard L. Madoff are likely to see much more of their initial returned to them after the trustee charged with recouping losses along with federal authorities announced a settlement that will add billions to the amount available.

The court-appointed trustee in charge of recovering money for the spurned investors, Irving H. Picard, reached a settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower that will add $7.2 billion to the amount available to compensate victims of the Madoff fraud, The New York Times reported on its website.

Picower, a philanthropist and businessman who withdrew $7 billion in bogus profits before the scheme went belly-up in 2008, suffered a heart attack and drowned while swimming in his pool at his mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., in October 2009 at the age of 67.

"What Jeffry Would Have Wanted"

"The settlement will return every penny received from almost 35 years of investing with Bernard Madoff," Picower's wife, Barbara, said in a statement through her lawyer, William D. Zabel of Schulte Roth & Zabel, the Times reported.

Lawyers for Picower's estate have been in negotiations with Picard for some time. The $7.2 billion greatly expands the $2.3 billion sum that Picard has so far secured for victims of the Madoff fraud.

"I believe that this settlement honors what Jeffry would have wanted, which is to return this money so that it can go directly to the victims of Madoff," she said, adding that she planned to return to "the philanthropic work that was so important to Jeffry and me."

A Widow's Wish

The $7 billion Picower withdrew from his accounts with Madoff accounted for more than a third of the money that disappeared in the fraud. Investors thought they were making stock trades, but in reality the funds were used to pay off other investors, authorities have said.

Following Picower's death, it was revealed in his will that much of his fortune was to go to charity. But his widow sought instead to have some of it returned equitably to Madoff's victims, many of whom were left penniless after the fraud was revealed.

The settlement follows the death last weekend of Madoff's oldest son, Mark, who committed suicide Saturday by hanging himself in his Manhattan loft apartment. The death of Mark Madoff, at age 46, fell on the second anniversary of his father's arrest for defrauding investors of some $20 billion. It is believed the son was distraught after being named in an $80 million lawsuit brought by Picard against the international arm of the elder Madoff's business.

Mark Madoff and his brother, Andrew, have said they knew nothing of their father's illegalities, and alerted federal authorities to the crimes after Bernard Madoff told his sons of the fraud.

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there is ENOUGH BS HERE to turn the sahara into the garden of eatin' we've got BILLIONS going BACK TO THE GREEDY TAX FRAUDS from this broad now giving it all away beyond their demands ....and for her ? why would she be DONATING almost three times the amount asked fopr ??? --. why the he## aren't THEY under investigation ? we're supposed TO BELIEVE THAT either they weren't getting a return on their investments FOR YEARS or they didn't have a clue as to HOW they were making $$$ ? ooooooooooh c'mon here,please ?

December 20 2010 at 2:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some people have alfready mentioned the Trustee's fee. Usually that fee is set by the bankruptcy court by a pre determined fee schedule. I would think the Judge would have looked at the potential Trustee Fee and set some other perameters. But for those who do not think the trustee should get a fee, let's just say if anyone thinks any of the individuals giving back the money would have done so without the pressure of the Trustee. None!!!! So that has to be taken into consideration also. Hopefully the judge will take a long hard look at the amount the Trustee proposes he/she gets. The investors are the people who should get the majority of the recovery. Investors can ask the courts to reduce the trustee fees, I've seen it done by judges even after the money is recovered.

December 19 2010 at 11:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

THE BIGGEST PONZI CREATOR is our federal government who has fleeced and bankrupted the United States to the extent of 12 trillion dollars ($12,000,000,000,000,000,000)! If the federal government were a person it would be in jail for running the largest Ponzi Scheme in global history. When are we going to see government officials sharing the same cell with Madoff?

December 19 2010 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This will be like the 20 billion dollar fine that BP had to pay the government, and the government hires a man to dish it out honestly to the aflicted . The only problem is, his fee is over $800,000 a year, or it might be a month, for his trouble.

December 19 2010 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would say trustee Irving Prickhard will have a tough job trying to separate a thief and his money.

December 19 2010 at 3:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Isn't this pretty close to the truth??

Why did Bernie Madoff go to prison? To make it simple, he talked people into investing with him. Trouble was, he didn't invest their money. As time rolled on he simply took the money from the new investors to pay off the old investors. Finally there were too many old investors and not enough money from new investors coming in to keep the payments going.
Next thing you know Madoff is one of the most hated men in America and he is off to jail.

Some of you know this. But not enough of you.

Madoff did to his investors what the government has been doing to us for over 70 years with Social Security. There is no meaningful difference between the two schemes, except that one was operated by a private individual who is now in jail, and the other is operated by politicians who enjoy perks, privileges and status in spite of their actions.

You may want a side-by-side comparison here? Well here's a nifty little chart.
Takes money from investors with the promise that the money will be invested and made available to them later.
Takes money from wage earners with the promise that the money will be invested in a "Trust Fund" (Lock Box) and made available later.
Instead of investing the money Madoff spends it on nice homes in the Hamptons and yachts.
Instead of depositing money in a Trust Fund the politicians transfer it to the General Revenue Fund and use it for general spending and vote buying.
When the time comes to pay the investors back Madoff simply uses some of the new funds from newer investors to pay back the older investors.
When benefits for older investors become due the politicians pay them with money taken from younger and newer wage earners to pay the older geezers.
When Madoff's scheme is discovered all hell breaks loose. New investors won't give him any more cash.
When Social Security runs out of money the politicians try to force the taxpayers to send them some more; or they cancel S/S to all those who paid into it.
Bernie Madoff is in jail.
Politicians remain in Washington .. with fat medical and retirement benefits.
'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'
~ Ronald Reagan

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five
years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
~ Milton Friedman

December 19 2010 at 2:11 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

the thieving ass lawyers will come out better than anyone when its all over.

December 19 2010 at 1:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

What's the big deal about. Of the 2.3 billion that the schister has recovered only 900 thousand has gone back to the victims. What a fucken scam JMc

December 19 2010 at 1:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

There is way more to this story... whu would this guy get to withdraw a sum of money, so outrageously monstrous, that it would likely devastate the investment scheme? Well, lets figure it out. Maybe picower knew of the monstrous fraud being perpetuated, but allowing him to pull his money put bought his silence. Then the guilt of the remaining people, charities, and so much more, plus what he knew, and a potential federal investigation into his fiances... any of which could lead lead to hi "accidental" Cmon, what is the chances the BIGGEST madoff withdrawal person "happens to die by drwoning in his own pool? The family is in the end returning the money, since obviously, we all know the feds could come get it anyway.!!!! known as "clawback"..

December 19 2010 at 11:55 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Its nice to have the power of the "state" to come after people who invested the same as the loosers did, in an effort to gain wealth, and then have the state force it off you cause others lost. Who is the state going after when the S/S fund goes broke,,, gonna throw congress in jail??? President? its a ponzi scheme,,, so is medicare,, so is government retirements,, state retirements,,, and all of them are going to go broke. Is this family going to get a share of the 7 billion back same as the others? or is this just plan ass class war fare?

December 19 2010 at 9:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply