The court-appointed trustee rounding up funds for victims of the epic Madoff Ponzi scheme says the total recovered now tops $10 billion, an amount virtually no one thought possible when the scam collapsed nearly six years ago.
Trustee Irving Picard filed the latest proposed settlement Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. The deal would recover nearly $500 million from two defunct feeder funds in the Cayman Islands.
If approved, the settlement would bring the total recoveries to $10.3 billion, according to a statement released by Picard's office. As of mid-October, according to Picard's website, more than $5.25 billion had already been paid out to victims, with the remainder either tied up in litigation or held in reserve as the claims process plays out.
Based on the estimated $17.5 billion in principal lost in the scam, customers who invested directly with Madoff's firm now stand to recover nearly 60 cents on the dollar, an amount unheard of in most Ponzi schemes, let alone one of this magnitude.
Some customers have done even better. Picard's statement notes that every claim totaling less than $925,000—more than 1,000 in all—has been paid in full.