The trustee’s office liquidating the assets of Bernard Madoff’s collapsed Ponzi scheme said Monday a total of $5.44 billion has been returned to former Madoff clients whose claims have been approved for repayment.
The new total was reached after the latest distribution of $506.2 million was made last week to victims of the fraud.
Madoff, believed to have masterminded the biggest financial fraud in history, was arrested in December 2008 and is now serving a 150-year prison term.
The Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC), which has overseen trustee Irving Picard’s recovery efforts, said that once the current distribution is completed more than 50% of the total Madoff accounts approved for repayment by the trustee will be fully satisfied.
According to SIPC, a total of 1,106 accounts will be fully satisfied following the third interim distribution out of a total of 2,178 accounts with allowed claims.
Since Madoff’s arrest Picard has overseen the recovery of $9.32 billion for former Madoff customers either through liquidated assets or settlements. This amount is more than 53% of the estimated $17.5 billion in principal believed to have been lost by Madoff customers who filed allowed claims, according to SIPC.
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said: “We applaud the hard work Trustee Picard has undertaken to recover monies and distribute them to customers at the failed BLMIS brokerage. His successful efforts have resulted in the ability to fully satisfy more than half of the BLMIS accounts with allowed claims, a significant achievement. SIPC is pleased to continue to facilitate the work of the Trustee to make possible the maximum recovery and return of funds to customers. ”