Half of Madoff "Victims" Didn't Actually Lose Money

Most investors who put money into Bernard Madoff’s funds over the decades he was in business came up losers when the house of cards collapsed. Some, however, lost more than others. According to a new court filing, about half of the investors who had accounts in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme at the time it was shut down didn’t actually lose any of the original principal they put into the funds.

Turns out that, at the time the government shut Bernie down, half his investors had already taken their money out of his funds, and either broke even or made a profit. Of course, that doesn’t mean the investors got a good deal. According to the New York Daily News:

When Madoff was arrested on Dec. 11, 2008, nearly 50% of his active customers did not lose money because they withdrew more from their Madoff accounts than they contributed, the feds found in their review of Madoff documents. … But this analysis does not capture the money Madoff investors thought they had made, and never did – money they could have made if they had invested their hard-earned money in a legitimate firm.

Still, those investors are bound to be happier than some of Madoff’s other victims, who really did lose it all. Some of them, though, may want to stash that cash in a new hiding spot, now that it’s been revealed that a laptop with names, social security numbers, and some account information for over 2,000 Madoff clients went missing in July. See, every silver lining really does have a cloud!

Prosecutors say half of Bernie Madoff’s investors lost nothing in … [NY Daily News]
Madoff investors’ security may have been breached [Newsday]