Madoff Victims Receive First Repayment Of $534 Million

The trustee who’s liquidating Bernie Madoff’s firm has released $534.2 million in repayments to some of his victims, reports Bloomberg. The half-billion is a drop in the bucket of total verified losses, which are now more than $21 billion. But hey, those 1,558 victims whose claims were approved for this partial payout are probaby pretty happy—which is more than you can say for the 2,500+ Madoff customers who may be sued to return fake profits.

“Madoff Trustee Advances $534 Million to Customers “ [Bloomberg]
(Photo: Todd Huffman)

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  1. H3ion says:

    By the time the Trustee completes his job, he’s going to be dealing not with customers but with their estates. If he manages to recover ten cents on the dollar, he will have done a good job but this case will drag on for a decade before it is finalized.

  2. taney71 says:

    Ten cents would be wonderful. I think this half billion is the biggest one lump sum payout these people will receive. Unless of course the Trustee is able to sue the pants off the people who got 1000% return.

  3. wvFrugan says:

    I know that some small time investors lost money (mostly through feeder accounts/firms) and many charitable trusts, but am I the only one that really doesn’t care or even thinks perhaps it serves the big fish right for being so greedy. Also, I believe most large fortunes were often amassed through borderline illegal and/or immoral activities? And screw the generational transfer of enormous wealth that was represented in many of these accounts (George Washington warned us about this problem). Additionally, many of the charitable trusts and non-profits/not-for-profit (yes they are different) harmed were really self serving of their founders/board members interests.

    My local not-for-profit hospital lost 1 million in the scandal. Between that and the drop in investment values, their top execs are having to take pay cuts (they have huge salaries, especially for this poor area) and cut perks. GOOD!

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      @wvFrugan:

      Wow, never would have guessed you lived in a poor area after all of the disdain for wealthy people in the first paragraph.

      • wvFrugan says:

        @Cant_stop_the_rock:
        You moron! Do you think being surrounded by abject poverty would increase the likelihood of my being a fan of our current system of perversely skewed distribution of wealth? I personally grew up in a relatively wealthy area of the northeast, an a grad of a fairly prestigious university… Regardless, predatory capitalism sucks! Perhaps you should take a look at its underbelly yourself.

    • floraposte says:

      @wvFrugan: You’re not the only one, judging by previous Consumerist threads, but I would still disagree. How much money are you allowed to have before it’s immoral to invest for your retirement?

      Sometimes people get into an anti-The Secret approach wherein anybody who’s ever made decent money deserves bad things to happen to them because they’re obviously bad. This doesn’t make any more sense to me than ragging on people who use food stamps for their moral failings. Undoubtedly, there were some assholes among the number of people that got swindled; if you want to make a case for financial experts who likely knew something was off from the figures but stayed in anyway, then I might agree. But I think that was the exception, and not the rule.

  4. thisistobehelpful says:

    I still can’t feel bad for rich people gambling. Guaranteed returns on the stock market are bullshit. Guaranteed ANYTHING on the stock market isn’t doable and falling for that is the same as any other bad investment. You gambled your money, you lost your money. Yes he should be punished and his assets being liquidated and dispersed fits the crime but they should’ve known through having their brokers investigate their investments.

  5. Roclawzi says:

    Maybe I just don’t understand the way the law works, but weren’t the people who made 1000% profit also victims of fraud? Suing them to recover money seems to me to require proof that they were complicit in the fraud. They did nothing wrong, and if they can be sued for their profit…I just don’t like the message it sends.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      @Roclawzi:

      The clawbacks are with regards to those who cashed out. You give him $100,000 in 1980, and cash out $5,000,000 in 2007. The trustee can claw back some of that $5,000,000.

      Now, if that person DIDN’T cash out, and had an account with madoff “worth” $5,000,000 then they would not be sued, since they didn’t benefit from the fraud. They would be on the receiving end of the deal, since they are out their $100,000.

  6. zibby says:

    @wvFrugan: Heh. You’re coming off as a little unstable. Take it easy.

  7. esd2020 says:

    @wvFrugan: I know of at least two charities that were wiped out by Madoff that were NOT making money for executives. In fact, they were *funded* by the (already rich) people running them as a way to give back to the community — until Madoff.