Picard Recovers $7.2B for Madoff Victims from Picower Estate

Dec 17 2010 | 1:00pm ET

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernie Madoff’s investment firm has recovered $7.2 billion from the estate of Madoff investor Jeffry Picower.

Irving Picard says the total represents $5 billion to resolve claims against Picower’s estate and an additional $2.2 billion the Picower group has forfeited to the U.S. government.

Picard filed suit against Picower in May 2009, claiming Picower should have realized Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. Picower died in October 2009. Friday’s settlement represents the full amount for which Picard had sued Picower and it adds considerably to the $2.5 billion Picard has recovered for defrauded Madoff investors to date.

“Every penny of the $7.2 billion recovered through these two settlements will be distributed to BLMIS customers with valid claims,” said Picard in a statement. “As soon as is practicable after the settlement is approved by the bankruptcy court, we will ask the court to approve an initial distribution from the customer fund to BLMIS customers with allowed claims.”

Picard also seemed to backpeddle on his claims that Picower should have recognized Madoff’s business for the fraud it was: “When we filed suit against Mr. Picower and others in the spring of 2009, the records available led us to allege that Mr. Picower might have or should have known of Mr. Madoff’s fraud. With the benefit of additional records, I have determined that there is no basis to pursue the complaint against Mr. Picower, and we have arrived at a business solution instead.”

The settlement was reached in cooperation with Picower’s widow, Barbara, who said in a statement of her own that her husband had been “committed to overcoming the devastation resulting from Bernard Madoff's fraud by reaching a fair and generous settlement with Mr. Picard and also by continuing the important charitable work that had been the focus of our lives for so many years.”
 
Picard reiterated his belief that investors who made money with Madoff, even if ignorant of the fraudulent nature of his business, should compensate those who lost money.

It’s a position squarely opposed by a group of Madoff investors calling themselves the Network for Investor Action and Protection. Their president, Ron Stein, said he hoped the recovery of $7.2 billion from the Picower estate meant Picard would “spare innocent victims from further lawsuits.”

“It is clear the trustee will exceed expectations in his settlements with the complicit,” said Stein in a statement, “and there is no reason why he should continue to claw back investors who played no role in the fraud.”

Picard has recognized claims worth $5.9 billion from Madoff investors. He has filed hundreds of lawsuits claiming over $50 million from banks, feeder funds and individuals who benefited from and/or abetted Madoff's fraud. Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence for the $65 billion Ponzi scheme that fell apart in 2008.
 


In Depth

Q&A: Open Season For Closed-End Funds

Aug 29 2014 | 10:00am ET

When Maury Fertig and Bob Huffman, former Salomon Brothers coworkers, launched...

Lifestyle

Och Funds Women In Finance Initiative At U-M

Aug 28 2014 | 3:01pm ET

Och-Ziff Capital founder Daniel Och and his wife have made a "generous donation"...

Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead: What’s In Store For Managed Futures?

Aug 22 2014 | 12:52pm ET

The last five years were phenomenal for investors in equity indices. Will the next...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

New customer protection rules have landed: Are you ready?

The twin debacles of MF Global and PFG have damaged the reputation of the futures industry demanding an examination of customer protection rules. New rules are being implemented, which will add cost a...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.