Madoff Trustee Ready to Repay $2.4B

Lawsuits by investors could slow down, reduce payout
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2012 2:43 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2012 2:52 AM CDT
Madoff Trustee Ready to Repay $2.4B
Irving Picard, the Securities Investor Protection Act trustee working to recover assets for investors who lost money in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme speaks to reporters in 2010.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

It's been more than three years since Bernie Madoff's giant Ponzi scheme was discovered, resulting in $17 billion in lost principle for his investors. But now the trustee in charge of Madoff's bankruptcy says he's ready to give the stolen funds back to the duped investors—well, give back $2.4 billion of the money owed, reports the Wall Street Journal. That's more than double the $1.1 billion already returned to about 1,000 people who were taken in by Madoff's scheme. If the judge approves the trustee's request, the victims could receive an average of $2 million each by this fall.

The trustee has recovered $11 billion of the scammed money so far, but lawsuits by the investors are slowing down the repayment rate. Some investors claim they are owed 9% interest on their Ponzi money (the trustee says "no"). Others want the recovered money to be distributed based on how much Madoff claimed was in their accounts when the Ponzi scheme fell apart (the trustee is distributing based on actual losses). But for those who lost their life savings, many have given up waiting, and are selling their claims for 80 cents on the dollar. (Read more Bernard Madoff stories.)

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