Madoff customers recover 70% of investment 10 years later


Steven Spielberg, John Malkovich and Kevin Bacon are just three of the most well-known faces of those stolen by Bernard L. Madoff, but the total number of people affected is not known. Yes, you know the amount of money committed: $ 65 billion. Just today marks 10 years since the arrest of the New York financier when he discovered the largest pyramid scheme in US history.

Talking about the amount of money committed is still an entelechy. These $ 65 billion assets were allegedly administered by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, the financial manager, in December 2008 when the fraud was discovered following the indictment of Madoff's sons.

On the day of the arrest, the US Asset Managers' Assurance Fund (SIPC) hired a professional receiver to try to recover as much money as possible from Madoff's clients. The chosen was the lawyer Irving H. Picard.

Picard, under judicial supervision, spent a decade doing extensive forensic analysis on who invested money in Mr. Madoff's manager, who withdrew funds … and opened proceedings around the world. Their results so far are excellent.

After thoroughly analyzing the movements of the affected, Picard and his team established that Madoff's clients had invested $ 19 billion (far from the 65 billion that appeared on the balance sheets).

Once the amount to be recovered was set, the liquidator concentrated on claiming to the customers who had withdrawn money from the manager before the thymus was discovered.

"In the pyramid scheme created by Madoff, the value of the investments and balances that the clients received each month was fictitious.Thus, it was decided that the claims were based on the deposits actually made, excluding withdrawals.The Bankruptcy Court accepted this methodology, "Picard said in a statement released two weeks ago.

"Some of Madoff's clients never took money, while others received large sums, but it was not investment money, but money stolen by Madoff from other clients.My part of my mandate focuses on asking those customers to give back the money they have charged" , says the lawyer.

Of the 19,000 million targeted, the trustee has already recovered $ 13.3 billion (70%). Picard estimates that in the next few years he could recover another $ 4 billion, which would approach a recovery rate of 90 percent.

When in 2008 the trustee began to work, assets in cash, securities and shares have not reached even 650 million euros. After hiring a battalion of lawyers, he took legal action against banks and fund managers who for years redirected their own clients to Madoff's manager with the promise of high returns. Spanish Banco Santander was the second largest investor affected, with $ 3.5 billion of its private banking clients.

The collapse of the pyramid scheme was very fast. Madoff pleaded guilty and just six months after his arrest, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison.


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