For investors, even a small recovery may take years
NEW YORK - Investing a dollar and getting 10 cents back in return is a bad deal even in today's market. But recovering 10 cents on the dollar might be optimistic for investors who gave cash to Bernard Madoff.
Moreover, they face a yearlong process to get any money back as investigators search to find Madoff's assets. Dozens of lawsuits and the possibility the fraud was committed over decades makes the chance of recovery even more difficult.
Madoff has confessed to running a giant Ponzi scheme, paying returns to certain investors out of the principal received from others. He's estimated to have duped investors out of as much as $50 billion.
With little to no tangible assets to seize and sell off from the investment business, Madoff investors will have to look elsewhere to find pennies to make up for their losses.
The most likely source of recovery is liquidation of Madoff's personal assets and any cash in accounts tied to the investment firm.