Defrauded Madoff investors to get additional $497 million |

Defrauded Madoff investors to get additional $497 million

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — The trustee recovering money for thousands of Bernard Madoff’s victims reached a half-billion-dollar settlement with two financial funds that invested with the Ponzi schemer, lifting the total amount raised for cheated investors to more than $10 billion.

Trustee Irving Picard announced the latest settlement Monday with so-called feeder funds — Herald Fund SPC and Primeo Fund, both undergoing liquidation in the Cayman Islands.

Picard said $497 million will be added to the money raised on behalf of investors, increasing to $10.3 billion the amount recouped since Madoff’s fraud was revealed in December 2008.

Stephen Harbeck, president of Securities Investor Protection Corp., said those who have worked on recovering money for investors harmed by the multi-decade fraud were pleased with one of the largest recoveries yet.

“The prospect of amassing $10 billion in recoveries for Madoff victims was not viewed by many as a serious possibility at the start of the case,” he said. “As remaining legal disputes continue to be resolved, we look forward to sharing news of additional distributions to Madoff customers.”

Geoffrey North, a lawyer for Picard, said in a release that the deal resulted from “complex negotiations conducted across international borders” and would avoid the cost and delay of contentious litigation.

Madoff, 76, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraud charges in March 2009.

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