September 21, 2020

Madoff Trustee Readies First Payout for Investors

“We can now begin to return stolen funds to their rightful owners,” the trustee’s lawyer, David Sheehan, said in a statement. The plan requires a judge’s approval.

The trustee, Irving H. Picard, who has filed more than 1,000 suits seeking money for Madoff investors, said in the statement that he had recovered $7.6 billion, or about 44 percent of the estimated principal of $17.3 billion lost in the Ponzi scheme. He and his law firm, Baker Hostetler, have requested $175.5 million in fees for their efforts.

Because of court challenges, most of the money is not available to put in the customer fund or distribute, Mr. Picard said. Two appeals have been filed against the trustee’s $5 billion share of a settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower, he said.

Mr. Picard’s lawsuits have been brought against banks as well as individuals who invested large sums with Mr. Madoff, like Mr. Picower and Norman Levy. JPMorgan Chase, which Mr. Picard has accused of assisting in the fraud and sued for $6.4 billion, and HSBC Holdings, which has been sued with so-called feeder funds for $9 billion, have challenged the trustee’s right to make such fraud claims, or sue on behalf of customers.

A Manhattan judge is looking into whether Mr. Picard has the right to pursue such lawsuits.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=eccce52d6cdf5b67b52066cb4e833f84

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