JPMorgan Chase

Funds for Madoff fraud victims rise to US$10b with JPMorgan Chase deal

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 11:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 January, 2014, 11:29pm

The trustee unwinding Bernard Madoff's fraud has recovered more than US$10 billion for victims five years after the biggest Ponzi scheme collapsed, including US$543 million from JPMorgan Chase.

Irving Picard, the trustee, has recovered 59 per cent of the US$17 billion in principal lost by thousands of investors in Madoff's investment advisory business.

Picard said in a statement on Tuesday that the JPMorgan agreement resolved his claims the bank facilitated Madoff's fraud for years by ignoring signs of fraud.

Picard is pursuing claims totalling about US$3.5 billion from UBS, HSBC, and UniCredit, which the trustee has also accused of benefiting from Madoff's fraud. The banks have denied the claims.

[In the early days], getting back a few pennies on the dollar was a goal

The parallel efforts by the trustee and federal investigators have resulted in a total recovery for victims of almost US$14 billion, or 82 per cent of the lost principal. Picard has distributed about US$4.9 billion to victims, with billions more held in reserve until various legal issues are resolved.

Madoff, 75, pleaded guilty to fraud in 2009 and is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.

Before the accord with JPMorgan on Tuesday, Picard's team had recovered US$9.5 billion through lawsuits and out-of-court settlements, including US$5 billion from the estate of billionaire Jeffry Picower, who began investing with Madoff in the 1970s.

Picard called Picower the biggest beneficiary of Madoff's Ponzi scheme. US investigators had recovered about US$2.3 billion for Madoff investors before Tuesday.