2012-04-30 — sfgate.com
Irving Picard, who said last year he hoped to pay investors in Bernard Madoff's defunct firm as much as $65 billion, has only put his hands on about $2.6 billion to actually give back to customers.
More than three years after Madoff's epic swindle collapsed, Picard, the trustee responsible for liquidating the firm, has paid investors back about $330 million, while holding about $2.3 billion in customer accounts. About $6.4 billion that Picard has won in settlements with former Madoff investors is being challenged in court and is unavailable for disbursement.
So far, winding down the Madoff estate has cost more than Picard has sent to customers, with total administrative spending as of March 31 at about $554 million, including fees for Picard, his firm and consultants he hired, according to his April 25 report. At the same time, Picard's strategy of filing $100 billion of lawsuits to claw back money from Madoff winners has largely collapsed, as federal judges led by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York have dismissed about $90 billion of Picard's claims.
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