Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
New York, NY –
Thousands of investors who lost their savings with Bernard Madoff have a case before a U.S. bankruptcy court judge this morning. As WNYC's Ilya Marritz tells us, the investors want the court-appointed trustee of the Madoff estate, Irving Piccard, to award them up to $500,000 each.
REPORTER: Basically, Picard's position is that Bernie Madoff wasn't actually playing with stocks at all. This was a Ponzi scheme, so there aren't underlying assets to be insured. And he wants to only compensate the victims for the value of their initial investment minus any withdrawals they made.
The victims say Bernie Madoff told them he was trading stocks, the Securities and Exchange Commission believed he was trading stocks and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation should have insured the value of their investments. It could mean the difference between being reimbursed for a few thousand dollars and being reimbursed to the tune of half a million dollars.