Madoff Trustee Sues for Victims' Money

Good news for Madoff victims: About $12 billion was withdrawn from Madoff’s accounts in 2008, half of that within three months of his Ponzi scheme’s implosion. “Those figures offer a bit of hope for Mr. Madoff’s thousands of defrauded customers,” writes The New York Times. “Under federal law, the trustee overseeing the Madoff bankruptcy can sue to retrieve that money from the investors who withdrew it.” The trustee in charge of recovering victims’ money, Irving H. Picard, filed two lawsuits yesterday seeking returns of $6.1 billion. One targets $1 billion from Harley International, a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands, while the other targets $5.1 billion from funds and partnerships managed by Jeffry Picower. The lawsuits allege that both groups “should have realized that their profits were too high and too consistent — and Mr. Madoff’s paperwork and procedures were too sloppy — to be legitimate” and goes on to accuse Picower of “participating in a web of transparently false transactions with Mr. Madoff that were aimed at compensating him for ‘perpetuating the Ponzi scheme’ at the expense of other investors.” On Monday, The Daily Beast's Allan Dodds Franks broke details of the investigation, including news that Picard had found Madoff's circle was broader than originally thought.