Victims of Bernie Madoff is a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme will begin to receive some money back today.
"This initial distribution is the first return of the stolen funds to Madoff's defrauded customers," said Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's firm in federal bankruptcy court.
More than 1,200 account holders to share the first $ 312 million. The first payment should have been published last week, but was held up to the dispute.
The 312 million U.S. dollars is a fraction of the U.S. $ 9 billion Picard said he was so much more, much of the estate of an investor, Jeffry Picower the end. Most of the money recovered, is still engaged in legal action. Madoff victims have lost 17 billion dollars, as calculated by Picard.
"The needs of many clients to Madoff are in a hurry," said Picard. "We try to speed up these distributions."
David Sheehan, a lawyer for Picard, said he can not predict the timing of decisions on appeals.
"" I think it's likely that, after all, most, if not all, of the recovered funds are divided into Madoff's victims, "said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor and now partner at McCarter and English, New Jersey LLP, the WHO estimates that in 1230 investors, who sent checks today just to go back to about 4.6 cents per dollar.
Mintz said that the courts have already decided that the experiment of lawsuits should be limited to the money invested in real rather than fictitious paper profits that are lost when the system is vented. In a separate ruling, the Court has limited the Picard's take a fictitious profits to clear the owners of the New York Mets, Mintz told Picard that may affect your ability to recover the money from Madoff investors who received more money than that costs
The Trustee has left hundreds of lawsuits against banks, mutual funds and individual investors who have benefited from the Madoff fraud.
"What Picard has to do that is not an easy process, is who is worthy," said Annemarie McAvoy, a former federal prosecutor and now an assistant professor at Fordham Law School. "It's a difficult process, but it's a difficult situation to begin with because it was a terrible thing Madoff did."
Madoff is serving a prison sentence of 150 years in North Carolina. His firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, used a Ponzi scheme where money from new investors was used to pay off old investors. The company also generated account statements to investors, as Picard called "fictitious". Picard has calculated the loss by comparing how much money the victims invested over how much money they have withdrawn from their accounts.
McAvoy said that it is unlikely investors will have all their money.
"They almost never get the full amount," he said. "But at least some of the victims."