Friday, October 2, 2009

The Madoff trustee has been busy lately...

The WSJ has reported two major lawsuits filed recently by the Madoff trustee. The first was reported yesterday and involves a $7.2 billion claim against Palm Beach, Fla., investor Jeffry Picower. Apparently, Mr. Picower was able to specify the returns he wanted and Bernie gave them to him. The trustee claims that Picower took home profits totaling $7.2 billion! That's not a bad arrangement: I want a 50% return, compounded daily please! Of course, Mr. Picower claims he had no idea Bernie was operating a Ponzi scheme.

Then, today, the WSJ reported that the trustee is suing various Madoff family members for nearly $200 million. While it doesn't sound like a lot any more, this really is an incredible sum of money. Apparently, Bernie paid nearly 75% of these funds to family members in the last six months before the scheme unraveled. Peter and Shana Madoff held the titles of Chief Compliance Officer and Compliance Officer at Madoff's firm. As such, the trustee is saying they were essentially complicit in the fraud because if they would have done their job they would have prevented or detected the scheme.

Some other revelations that are coming out of the trustee's investigation include:
  • the trustee believes the total losses by Madoff investors is about $18 billion
  • approximately half of the investors took out more money than they put in
  • total deposits to Madoff were about $36 billion
  • total funds sought by the trustee in lawsuits to this point are $15 billion
This saga will continue for a long time. We do know one winner in it all: the attorneys will undoubtedly come away from it with plenty of money to invest with someone. I wonder who is eying their cash and soliciting their investments...maybe the next huge Ponzi scheme will get their funds!

No comments:

Post a Comment