U.S. Markets closed

Madoff victims' recovery rises to nearly $10.5 billion

Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York in this January 14, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff's victims on Tuesday announced two agreements to recoup more than $145 million, boosting the total amount raised to nearly $10.5 billion.

Irving Picard, the trustee, said he reached a $95 million settlement subject to court approval with Senator Fund SPC, a Cayman Islands "feeder fund" that had invested customer money exclusively with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Picard also said a federal bankruptcy judge has approved a separate settlement worth at least $50.5 million with defendants including Long Island, New York-based real estate developer Edward Blumenfeld.

That settlement had been announced on Oct. 17, and could eventually be worth about $62.1 million, according to Picard and court papers.

Madoff, 76, pleaded guilty to fraud in March 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison term.

Tuesday's payouts come on top of a $496.8 million settlement announced on Monday with two other Cayman Islands investment funds, Herald and Primeo.

Picard has now recouped roughly 60 percent of the $17.5 billion of principal that he estimated was lost by customers of Madoff, whose Ponzi scheme was revealed in December 2008.

Close to $6 billion has been distributed to date.

A hearing to approve the Senator, Herald and Primeo settlements is set for Dec. 17 in New York. Picard said Senator will receive a $239 million claim in the Madoff firm's liquidation because it deposited more there than it withdrew.

The trustee has spent much of the last six years litigating against feeder funds that sent money to Madoff, and "net winners" who took out more from Madoff's firm than they put in.

Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden oversees a separate $4.05 billion fund to compensate customers and third parties who lost money.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)