According to Richard Breeden, the special master of the Madoff Victim Fund, about 11,000 more investors who sustained losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam could recover some of their funds. He also said that the number could possibly double as the U.S. government assesses more of the claims.
Breeden said that as of the middle of this month his office had looked at over 34,000 of the more than 63,700 claims it had received from investors who were claiming $77.3 billion of losses. They are from 135 countries.
The Madoff Victim Fund is holding $4.05 billion in investor compensation and is separate from the compensation being distributed by Irving Picard, who is the trustee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. While Picard has been compensating investors who directly placed their funds with Madoff, Breeden is working to compensate investors who had accounts at feeder funds and other entities that then sent their money to Madoff for investment.
Picard has distributed about $7 billion of the $10.7 billion he has recovered. Upon court approval in July he will likely be able to distribute another $1.2 billion.
Meantime, Madoff is serving 150 years behind bars for conducting what has been dubbed the largest Ponzi fraud ever that bilked not just ordinary investors but also the rich and famous. Thousands sustained major loses even though many of them were sent statements making it appear as if their money had grown significantly. The scam fell apart in 2008. Tens of thousands of investors lost billions of dollars.
In other Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam news, his accountant, David Friehling has been sentenced to time served, two years supervised release, and home detention. Friehling, in 2009, pleaded guilty to investment adviser fraud, securities fraud, multiple counts of making false filings with the SEC, and other charges. After cooking the books for Madoff for nearly 17 decades, he later turned federal witness. Friehling's cooperation is what led to his lighter sentence.
In a Ponzi scheme, investors are paid with the money brought in by newer investors to make it seem to the earlier investors as if a profit is being made. Because there is no real profit, eventually the money does run out and investors are left sustaining losses. Meantime, the Ponzi scam mastermind and his/her helpers profited from stealing investor funds.
Signs of a possible Ponzi scam:
• The promise of high returns with minimal risks
• Returns that are too consistent
• Mistakes in investment documents
• Unregistered investments
• Difficulties exiting an investment investment
• Investment strategies that are too complex
• Not getting an expected/scheduled payment
• Sellers that are unlicensed
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP our securities lawyers are here to help investors recover their financial losses. Contact one of our Ponzi scam attorneys today.
Ponzi Scams: Madoff Victims to Get $93M, Fraud Lawsuits Name Insurance Brokerage Head in $10M Scheme, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 24, 2015
Madoff Ponzi Scam Victims Recover Over $10 Billion, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, December 5, 2014