The court-appointed trustee in charge of liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC said Monday he would ask a bankruptcy court to hand over $322 million to investors snookered in the massive Ponzi scheme. The payment would bring the total distribution of funds recovered from the fraud to $7.2 billion in the six years since it first made headlines, the Wall Street Journal reported.
If approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, the payment would allow Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee, to pay the holders of more than 1,150 investor accounts in full. For others, their total recoveries would amount to nearly 50 percent of their claims. A hearing on the new payout is scheduled for Jan. 15.
David Sheehan, Picard's chief counsel, said more money could be recovered through additional lawsuits and settlements, CNBC reported. "We remain dedicated to our primary goal," Sheehan said in a statement, "to recover the maximum amount possible for the benefit of [Madoff] customers with allowed claims."
Bernie Madoff was arrested in 2008 and later pleaded guilty to fraud. He is serving a 150-year prison sentence. His scheme cost investors roughly $17 billion or more in principal. It involved large fake profits leading customers to believe their accounts amounted to a combined $65 billion.
Earlier this month, a former manager at Bernard Madoff's firm was sentenced to six years in prison for helping with the multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. JoAnn Crupi, 53, was the latest of five former Madoff employees to be sentenced for Madoff's decades-long fraud, according to Reuters.