Madoff Liquidator: $946M Recovered So Far

Feb 5 2009 | 12:32am ET

The court-appointed liquidator of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities said today that he has recovered $946 million—less than 2 cents on the dollar in the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Irving Picard said at a U.S. bankruptcy court hearing that sifting through the records, which include 7,000 unmarked boxes of documents at a warehouse in Queens, N.Y., is a time-consuming process. After the hearing, he said 16 people are working to inventory the contents of those boxes.

“We have worked out protocols but there are parts of the building we cannot go without permission and escort by the” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Picard said at the hearing. “That caused problems gaining access to computers.” The liquidator later told reporters that all of those involved in the Madoff investigation—including the FBI—have been “very cooperative.”

According to Picard, most than half of the money recovered—approximately $535 million—came from accounts at JPMorgan Chase and the Bank of New York Mellon. A further $300 million in securities have been recovered, as well as $111.4 million in cash from banks and other firms that Madoff Securities had accounts with.

“It is our intention to designate those funds as customer property,” Picard said. “It is our intention to have all these funds, and funds from assets we are able to collect, to go into the customer fund and distribute to the victims.” Madoff’s victims have until July 2 to file a claim with the Securities Investor Protection Corp., the Congressionally-chartered insurer of brokerage investments that appointed Picard.

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