More Than 25,000 Madoff Victims May Finally Receive Payouts Totaling $4B

It’s been a long time coming for many victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme — more than seven years, in fact — but some of them could soon finally see payouts from a $4 billion Department of Justice fund.

Richard Breeden, the special master of the Madoff Victim Fund and a former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said in an update this week on his website that his office is “substantially” finished with the initial claims review process and that he expects to recommend payouts for at least 25,280 claimants with nearly $4 billion in fraud losses.

His office analyzed 63,580 claims totaling $67.8 billion in alleged losses as a result of Madoff’s Ponzi schemes. Along with the expected payouts, there’s some bad news for other alleged victims: Breeden writes that he’s expecting to reject payouts on 7,540 claims covering $25.7 billion of alleged losses.

There’s no date set yet on when those payments will be issued, but the fact that there’s been an announcement could be a good sign that folks could finally see some of their money after years of waiting.

“It sounds like it is good news for claimants,” a partner at one New York law firm whose clients have submitted dozens of claims tells Reuters. “They could end up with a significant portion of their claims.”

Breeden also says he informed holders of 30.760 “incomplete” claims totaling $27 billion in alleged losses that they have an early July deadline to fix those claims. There’s still another 1,000 claims left to be reviewed, as well.

“Completing the initial review of claims is a major milestone in the case, and it brings us a big step closer to the cash distributions we all want to see,” said Breeden.

These payouts are different than those being made by Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. His site says he’s paid out roughly $8.6 billion of the $11.1 billion he has recouped so far.

More than 25,000 Madoff victims now eligible for $4 billion fund [Reuters]

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