First Checks for Madoff Victims on Wednesday

October 05 00:00 2011

New York, October 5 ( – Victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme can now heave a sigh of relief as the first checks will be distributed to them Wednesday, nearly three years after the scam was unraveled. Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of liquidating Madoff’s securities firm said that nearly $312 million in recovered money will be disbursed in the first round.

Picard said that “The need among many Madoff customers is urgent, and we are working to expedite these distributions.” Holders of 1,230 accounts will receive the checks that will represent about 4.6 cents on the dollar of losses they incurred. There was a delay in the distribution for a few days because a $1 billion suit against the owners of the New York Mets baseball team that stemmed from the club’s involvement in the Ponzi scheme was dismissed by a federal judge.

Nearly $8.7 billion, which is about half of the principal lost by customers who filed claims, has been recovered or entered into agreements to recover by trustees. The remaining is tied up in litigation. Picard pointed out that victims will eventually receive “significant, additional funds” and future money that has yet to be recovered. Victims have already received up to $500,000 through the Securities Investor Protection Corp., a program for protecting investors.