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Madoff must forfeit more than $170b

By Tom Hays
Associated Press / June 27, 2009
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NEW YORK - Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has been ordered to forfeit over $170 billion, prosecutors said yesterday.

US District Judge Denny Chin entered a preliminary order of forfeiture yesterday, according to Acting US Attorney Lev Dassin. The order forces Madoff to give up his interests in all property, including real estate, investments, cars, and boats.

According to earlier court documents, prosecutors reserved the right to pursue more than $170 billion in criminal forfeiture. That represents the total amount of money that could be connected to the fraud, not the amount stolen or lost.

The government also settled claims against Madoff’s wife, according to yesterday’s order. Under the arrangement, the government obtained Ruth Madoff’s interest in all property, including more than $80 million of property to which she had claimed was hers, prosecutors said.

The order makes it clear that nothing precludes other departments or entities from seeking to recover additional funds.

The agreements strip the Madoffs of all interest in properties belonging to them, including homes in Manhattan, Montauk, and Palm Beach, Fla., worth a total of nearly $22 million.

Federal prosecutors want Madoff to be sentenced to 150 years in prison. He is due in court on Monday for sentencing in his massive fraud case.