The latest $322 million payment by Irving Picard, trustee for the Madoff Ponzi scheme, puts the amount recovered since 2008 in double-digits.
According to the Wall Street Journal, investors in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme
lost a total of $17.3 billion in principal when the elaborate fraud was uncovered in December 2008. Amazingly, Picard’s been able to recover $10.5 billion of that through legal settlements with banks, etc. That’s 61 cents on the dollar, not bad for a lost cause.
The latest payment is the fifth such outlay by Picard in the past six years bringing the total paid out to date of $7.2 billion or an average of $299,900 per recipient. The largest payout to any single recipient during this legal schlimazel was $60 million — the smallest a paltry $391. Claims of $964,000 or less have been paid out completely.
The job done by Irving Picard and his staff recovering funds for the victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is nothing short of brilliant. But before we start building statues of the man in New York and Washington, let’s not forget that the Securities Investor Protection Corporation has paid Picard and his law firm Baker Hostetler, more than $1 billion in fees during this process.
In that respect, Picard’s benefited from Madoff’s Ponzi scheme almost as much as Madoff himself. Apparently, it pays to be a cleanup man