But if one were to add the total recoveries to date, including those agreed to but not yet executed, the amount would reach $9 billion. The difference of nearly $3 billion will reportedly be distributed as well when the funds are received, according to the Jewish Business News. “The number is now getting closer to half of the total fraud, which is estimated at close to $20 billion itself, which is a remarkable – and indeed far from final – result,” the JBN reported.
Irving H. Picard is an attorney who was appointed as trustee for the liquidation of the Bernard L. Madoff Securities Business five years ago.
Picard said with the recent announcement, “Our commitment is simple: to recover the maximum amount of funds stolen in the Madoff Ponzi scheme and to distribute these funds to their rightful owners as quickly as possible,” adding, “Our legal team remains focused on overcoming the remaining challenges that delay additional, even larger, distributions, and bringing more money into the Customer Fund.”
Bernie Madoff defrauded thousands of investors in what has been called the largest financial fraud in history. He is currently serving a 150 year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.
Picard was appointed trustee under the Securities Investor Protection Act, known as SIPA, the JBN reported, explaining that Picard’s job has been to recover as much money as possible for those who were damaged by Madoff’s huge Ponzi scheme.
A Ponzi scheme is an investment scheme where funds are taken from new victims to pay offfraudulent returns promised to earlier victimsones. “Eventually such a scheme inevitably becomes uncovered when the perpetrator of such a scheme runs out of new victims to take money from, if regulators have not caught on to it sooner,” according to the JBN.
Picard, the son of Jewish refugees from Germany, was first appointed to the trustee job in 2008. Then, as the enormity of the fraud itself was revealed – as investors are ultimately believed to have lost a total of $20 billion in the scheme. Of this amount, claims for recovery amounting to US$17.5 billion were registered with the Trustee by a July 2009 filing deadline, JBN reported.
“Having already successfully sued many parties, both corporate and individual, in multiple international jurisdictions” Picard is likely to have years of Madoff-related work ahead of him, with many more litigations to come, the Jewish Business News explained.
“Given the size and scope of the fraud, this is extraordinary progress,” Picard said, “And we are not done yet.”