The trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff’s burned investors, according to the AP, has reached a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of a Florida businessman who had been the single largest beneficiary of the fraud.
A recovery of that size would mean that a sizeable number of Madoff’s victims could get at least half of their money back. A remarkable turnaround for people and institutions that thought two years ago that they had lost everything. We will have to wait and see how his settlement pans out.
Picower, who was 67 when he died, invested many years ago with Madoff. He withdrew about $7 billion in bogus profits from his account. That money was supposedly made on stock trades, but authorities said that in reality it was simply stolen from other investors.
Picower’s lawyers claimed he knew nothing about the scheme. Lawyers for Picower’s estate have been in negotiations with the trustee for some time. After Picower drowned, his will revealed that he had earmarked most of his fortune for charity, but his widow said in a statement that the family wished to return some of it to Madoff’s victims through “a fair and generous settlement.”