Like a Bandit?

Madoff Trustee's $15M Payday

Ruthie’s in the poorhouse, Bernie’s doing time, and hundreds of victims lost their savings—but one man in L’Affair Madoff is sitting pretty: Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of liquidating Madoff’s investment company, won court approval Thursday for a $14.7 million payday for his law firm, following four months of Madoff-related work, Bloomberg reports. The sum covers Picard’s and his firm Baker & Hostetler’s work from December 15 to April 30. Picard and his associates had recovered $1.08 billion for the Ponzi schemers’ victims, as of the end of June. Naturally, not everyone approves of the multimillion-dollar bill. “This depletion of [Securities Investor Protection Corp.] funds is unjustifiable,” said one victim. “The trustee has been an abysmal failure.” Picard’s group has so far approved $3.36 billion in claims from 820 victims and are filing more complicated lawsuits for some of Madoff’s biggest investors, who are claiming some $14 billion in damages. Some, however, say Picard’s recoveries have been relatively easy so far, drawing mostly from Madoff’s extant bank accounts. Ultimately, the Madoff victims are stuck in Picard’s hands: Legal experts note that the oversight rules for trustees like Picard tend to be slim.