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Madoff liquidation cases consolidated

A US marshal checked a car outside the New York correctional center where financier Bernard Madoff is being held. A US marshal checked a car outside the New York correctional center where financier Bernard Madoff is being held. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
Associated Press / June 10, 2009
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NEW YORK - Separate efforts to sell the business and personal property of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff have been combined to speed the process and get more of the proceeds to those he cheated.

At a hearing yesterday in Manhattan, US Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland consolidated a bankruptcy case involving Madoff's personal assets with a court-appointed trustee's case aimed at liquidating his business.

A lawyer for the trustee, Marc Hirschfield, told the judge that consolidation made sense since Madoff's personal holdings and those of his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, were "hopelessly intertwined." He said the move also would reduce the time and expense of a process using proceeds from the property to pay thousands of claims from burned investors.

Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty in March to charges his investment advisory operation was a multibillion dollar Ponzi scheme. He's scheduled to be sentenced on June 29.

Trustee Irving Picard has said that so far he has identified about $1 billion in assets that can be used to help cover nearly 9,000 claims.