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Madoff trustee details costs, claims

By Bloomberg News
November 1, 2010

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NEW YORK — Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy of Bernard Madoff’s investment firm, spent $26.9 million in the six months ended Sept. 30 while recovering $849,000 for victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, according to a report filed in Manhattan federal court.

Picard has recovered a total of about $1.5 billion for creditors of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, he said in a filing with bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland. The trustee said he has evaluated 14,030 investor claims as of Oct. 22 and approved 2,280. He has committed to paying $738 million on behalf of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., which is obligated to compensate cheated investors as much as $500,000 on most claims, according to the report.

The largest component of the expenses for the half-year period is $15.8 million in legal fees to Picard’s firm, Baker & Hostetler LLP. Most of the money recovered in that period, $771,000, came from Madoff investors who received payments in the 90 days before the bankruptcy filing.

Madoff, 72, was arrested in December 2008 and charged with securities fraud for directing the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history. He pleaded guilty in March 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.