Madoff victims can still get their cash back

Claims for financial losses are expected to increase as submission deadline extended.

Victims of the Bernie Madoff scheme can breathe a sigh of relief as the deadline to recover their savings has been extended, announced the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, Preet Bharara, on Friday.

According to Bharara, the deadline for petitions submitted through the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF) has been extended until April 30, 2014 – known as the “Deadline.” Submissions must be received or postmarked prior to that date, according to a letter released by Bharara.

The extension comes in recognition by the MVP and U.S. Department of Justice that applicants need adequate time to gather financial records that go back years, maybe even decades.

“As much as possible we want to make sure that every real victim has a chance to learn of, and participate in, the claims process,” wrote Bharara.

The MVF has received more than 9,000 claims from individuals spanning across 75 countries. The average claim contains more than 90 pages of backup documentation.
Efforts are underway by banks and custodians to make potentially eligible clients aware of the opportunity to recover funds, which has increased the number of submitted claims in recent weeks.

“Many potentially eligible victims advised us that they only recently learned of the existence of MVF,” Bharara wrote. (continued.)


According to the MVP, more than 90 per cent of claims have been received from individuals who never filed bankruptcy or who had their claim denied by an “indirect” investor; while more than 70 per cent have come from individuals yet to recover anything from their losses.

“This is a tragic statistic, reflecting an enormous gulf between a few investors who have already recovered all their losses, and a much larger group who have not recovered much if anything,” wrote Bharara. “MVF will use its significant resources to help all victims of these vile crimes.”

Meanwhile, a former aid of Madoff, Daniel Bonventre – who worked at Madoff Investment Securities LLC for 40 years, most recently as director of operations – denied in a

Manhattan federal court that he was aware of the fraud, while testifying at his own trial on Thursday. Bonventre, 67, claims he only learned about the scheme when Madoff was arrested.

Bonventre is one of five accused of helping Madoff conceal his fraud by using false documents and fake trades. All of the accused have denied they were aware of the scheme, which cost investors an estimated $17 billion in principal losses.

In March 2009, Madoff, 75, plead guilty and is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence