Madoff victims’ recovery tops $9.7 billion with new payout

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By Jonathan Stempel

<span class="articleLocation”>Bernard Madoff’s victims will soon recoup
another $252 million from the trustee unwinding the swindler’s
firm, boosting their total recovery to $9.72 billion.

The latest payout by trustee Irving Picard was made possible
by settlements in the second half of 2016 with people accused
either of facilitating Madoff’s fraud or withdrawing more money
from his firm than they deserved.

This included money from a settlement with the family of
Stanley Chais, who prior to his 2010 death managed money for
Hollywood clients like director Steven Spielberg, and was
accused by Picard of excess withdrawals.

Picard’s eighth distribution started on Thursday, and will
go to customers who once had 953 accounts at Bernard L. Madoff
Investment Securities LLC.

Checks will range from $271.80 to about $42.3 million.

Once the distribution is finished, 1,335 Madoff accounts
with valid claims will be fully paid off, including all claims
of $1.25 million or less.

Customers who have not been fully repaid will have received
about 60 percent of what they are owed when the distribution is
finished, the trustee said.

Picard has estimated that Madoff customers lost $17.5
billion in a decades-long fraud that ended when Madoff was
arrested in December 2008.

Madoff, now 78, is serving a 150-year prison term.

The trustee has recouped nearly $11.6 billion, but has held
some of it back because of litigation.

A separate $4 billion fund set up by the U.S. Department of
Justice will also compensate Madoff victims, including people
who invested with him through third parties.

Richard Breeden, the former U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission chairman overseeing that fund, last month said he was
on track to make a “large initial distribution” in 2017. Claims
are subject to Justice Department review.

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