A Supreme Court decision on Monday could free up an additional $1.25 billion to be returned to victims of the epic Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. But it is bad news for the victims who brought the case claiming individual payouts should be adjusted higher for inflation. The high court let stand a lower court ruling rejecting that argument.
The decision is a major victory for court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, who has already recovered nearly $11 billion of the $17.5 billion in principal lost in the fraud. Picard has returned $7.25 billion to victims, but a U.S. bankruptcy court required him to hold most of the remaining money in reserve while the appeals played out.
This was the last major appeal pending, according to Picard's spokeswoman, Amanda Remus, who says the trustee will now go back to court to get more of the funds released.