Bloomberg reports that a jury has convicted five former Bernie Madoff employees for perpetuating the fraud. The decision was made by a federal jury in Manhattan, New York, yesterday. According to the conviction these employees were “guilty of aiding his fraud for decades by creating fake trading documents and account statements.” The fraud was perpetrated against not only the wealthy but also against retirees, charities and family and friends.
One day after five of Bernie Madoff’s ex-employees were convicted of helping him with this $17.5 billion Ponzi scheme, another set of victims are set to receive approximately $349 in payments. Although the payout will need to be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court in New York, if it is paid, the total amount which has been distributed to the victims will equal almost $6 billion, well short of the total amount lost.
According to trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, it is the fourth distribution since Madoff’s 2008 arrest triggered the liquidation, but represents only 34% of the total amount of principal which the victims lost.
The trustee announced in a statement issued by the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, “Our commitment is simple: to recover the maximum amount of funds stolen in the Madoff Ponzi Scheme and to distribute these funds to their rightful owners as quickly as possible.” The money has been recovered through settlements and lawsuits filed by the victims against those who benefited from the fraud.
According to experts close to the case, the hope is that the payouts will continue and be accelerated as the legal disputes are resolved. The hearing to confirm the latest distribution is scheduled for April 17, 2014, although many of the victims have already received cash advances of $500,000 from the Securities Investor Protection Corp., an industry-backed entity overseeing the liquidation.
Will the Bernie Madoff victims be fully reimbursed?
There are some hopes that the victims will be fully reimbursed, and there are claims pending with several banks for an estimated $3.5 billion. In fact, a settlement with JPMorgan Chase and Company has already been settled for $325 million. The argument for this case was the bank “failed to recognize the fraud and profited from Madoff’s business in the process.” More payments totaling $218 million will be paid by JPMorgan Chase to resolve two related class action claims.
Celebrity victims of Bernie Madoff
The list of victims of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme include several of Hollywood’s power players including Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Uma Thurman via fiance Arpad Busson, Steven Spielberg, Larry King, John Malkovich, Eliot Spitzer, Sandy Koufax, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jeffrey Katzenberg (The Dreamworks CEO) and the late John Denver.
Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 of fraud and is currently service a 150 year prison sentence in North Carolina. His brother, Peter Madoff, also pleaded guilty and is service a 10 year term.
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