Bernard Madoff's family would be allowed to keep $82 million of other investors' money under a potential ruling that limited claims against New York Mets owners to two years, said trustee Irving Picard.
Bloomberg reported that Madoff's family took out $141 million in the six years before his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, went bankrupt in 2008.
Less than $59 million was taken in the two years before the bankruptcy, according to Picard, who said in court filings on Wednesday that many investors are trying to hold on to stolen money that belongs to clients, many of whom lost their entire savings in the Ponzi scheme.
In September, a judge ruled that New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz could pay no more than two years of profit related to investments with Madoff. A U.S. District court dismissed nine of 11 counts, limiting to damages sought by Picard to around $380 million. Picard was looking for a $1 billion settlement.
The Wilpons have been forced to seek outside investors for the Mets. Because much of their wealth is in real estate and not liquid, they need additional capital to stabilize.
Although Madoff's Ponzi scheme was indisputable, the question of investors' knowledge of the situation remains murky. The Wilpons have argued that they invested in good faith and had no knowledge of the scheme, and thus should not be liable for damages. But Picard argues that all attempts should be made to compensate those clients who lost the most.
But the trustee is a fiduciary of all customers and, as such, must make every effort to obtain redress for all the customers of BLMIS who fell victim to Madoff's fraud, he wrote in court filings on Wednesday.