- Distribution will be sixth since Ponzi scheme ended in 2008
- Funds were freed up after U.S. Supreme Court ruling in October
The trustee unwinding Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme won court approval to send $1.5 billion to victims -- the sixth such payout since the fraud collapsed almost seven years ago.
The distribution, scheduled for the end of the year, will boost victims’ recoveries in the case to $9.13 billion, or about 57 percent of their lost principal, trustee Irving Picard said Wednesday in a statement.
Picard said he’ll send out $1.18 billion in the coming weeks and hold $320 million in the customer reserve until pending litigation is resolved. The distribution was approved in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan.
The cash at the center of Wednesday’s ruling was freed up after the U.S. Supreme Court refused in October to hear an appeal from victims who argued for years that they should receive interest on their lost investments.
Picard has recovered most of the money through litigation and settlements with Madoff customers who benefited from the scam. Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 and is serving a 150-year sentence. A jury last year convicted five of his top aides.
The liquidation is Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, 08-bk-01789, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).