73 Percent of Money Stolen in Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme Recovered

Payouts of $584 million will be made in the new year, and trustees expect to recover all the stolen money

FILE PHOTO: Accused swindler Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York, U.S. on January 14, 2009.
Brendan McDermid

The trustee charged with recovering the investments for victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has recovered about 73 percent of the lost principal of $17.5 billion.

New payouts of $584 million will be made after the start of the new year, Crain’s New York reported.

“Nearly a decade since the unmasking of the Madoff fraud, we are still finding and recovering millions of dollars for the victims of this complex global deception,” trustee Irving Picard said in a statement.

Picard has said he expects to recover all of the lost principal and perhaps more, according to Crain’s. He has been liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC since shortly after Madoff’s arrest in December 2008.

The uncovering of the Ponzi scheme revealed the tens of billions of dollars in fake profit that victims believed they had earned through Madoff.

Madoff, a Jewish New Yorker, used his position as the chairman of his investment securities company to swindle billions of dollars from tens of thousands of investors from the early 1970s until his arrest. Many prominent nonprofits also suffered big losses, with Yeshiva University taking a $140 million hit, Hadassah $90 million and the foundation of Elie Wiesel losing $15 million.

In 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and is serving a 150-year sentence in a federal prison in North Carolina. He was also ordered to forfeit nearly $171 billion.