"A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars." -- Sean Parker, The Social Network
In late 2014, Irving Picard, SIPC's trustee in the Bernard Madoff case, confirmed that the trustee's legal and professional fees in the matter had passed the $1 billion mark--and that over $10 billion in assets had been recovered to date. The $1 billion in fees was an eye-opener for many people but with the release today of more good news for Madoff victims, Picard says that this $1 billion (and counting!) is a “very good return on an investment.”
Today, the trustee announced that it has sought court approval to allocate another $1.5 billion to victims--with $1.18 billion available for immediate distribution. Picard said that this "will bring the amount distributed to eligible [Madoff] customers to approximately $9.13 billion." According to Stephen Harbeck, President and CEO of SIPC, this means that those who invested $1.161 million or less with Madoff (which constitutes more than 56 percent of Madoff investors) will be fully satisfied, i.e., "made completely whole” after the upcoming distribution.
Harbeck also stated that people with approved claims who invested more than $1.161 million will currently recover at least 61% of their investments through SIPC. “Coming out of a Ponzi scheme with 61 percent of what you started out with is a major victory,” he said.
In this video from ABC News, Picard and Harbeck discuss where the case and the recovery for victims now stands, and how over $7 billion was recovered for victims from the estate of a Palm Beach lawyer named Jeffrey Picower who was allegedly a co-conspirator in the Madoff scheme.