Madoff Trustee Sends Out Massive Payouts

Checks totaling $2.48 billion were mailed out this week to some of Bernard Madoff’s victims to help cover their losses. Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of recovering funds, said just about half of the $17 billion that was lost in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has been recovered.

Speaking on The Brian Lehrer Show, Picard said there been nothing like this, and hopefully there never will be again.

“It’s a very difficult job. Day to day the calls from the investors are heart rendering and you have to take that into account,” he said. “But every day we do what we believe is the right thing. As we said from the beginning, we’re following the money and trying to recover as much as possible for the victims.”

Picard and his chief of counsel David Sheehan both stressed that all investors are being treated the same. Victims of the Madoff’s scheme – which range from individual investors to banks – will get money back based on how much was invested and how much was or was not taken out.

Picard and Sheehan are still trying to recover about $8 billion from parties that received fictitious profits from Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

The average payout sent this week was $2 million, with checks ranging from $1,700 to $526 million.

As for the $526 million payout, Picard said that was one check that didn’t go into the mail. A check was delivered directly to a representative of the victim, in this case a Spanish bank.