The total amount committed to customers who lost money to the Madoff Ponzi scheme has topped half a billion dollars.
The announcement was made by court-appointed trustee Irving Picard on a conference call with reporters today, CNBC reported. The milestone was reached as of noon Easter time yesterday, Picard said.
The funds come in the form of advances from the Securities Investors Protection Corporation, which is charged with assisting Picard in recovering funds and distributing them to investors who lost money. The half a billion in committed payments is the largest amount ever for the SIPC, which has been around since the seventies, CNBC said.
While certainly not a small amount of money, half a billion is just a dent in the $4.4 billion in approved claims, and but a speck in the total amount of the fraud, which is said to be as high as $65 billion.
This announcement comes in the same week as the death of Jeffry Picower, from whom Picard was seeking $7.2 billion. Picard has said that lawsuit will move forward, presumably against Mr. Picower’s estate.
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