In a fascinating addendum of sorts to last weekend’s suicide of Mark Madoff, son of the criminal hedge-fund mastermind Bernie Madoff, it has just been announced that the estate of Madoff associate Jeffry Picower will return $5 billion to investors who lost everything in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff’s firm, sued Jeffry Picower’s estate under the assumption that “Picower should have known Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme,” Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Jeffry’s widow Barbara Picower “maintains her husband’s innocence and says she’s returning the money because it’s the right thing to do,” according to The Consumerist.
The Consumerist reports that Mark Madoff was also being sued by Picard, and notes that he hung himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. As Robin mentioned in her post on Mark Madoff’s suicide, “Bernie Madoff was turned into the police in December of 2008 by his sons, Andrew and Mark, who allegedly knew nothing about their father’s illegal practices.” Mark Madoff’s lawyer suggested that his suicide was the sad culmination of “two years of unrelenting pressure from false accusations and innuendo.” I can imagine. When one is sucked into the vortex created by a heartless manipulator, it is very difficult to escape unscathed. I can’t help but wonder if the news of Madoff’s victims being rescued by this multi-billion dollar settlement would have been enough to get Mark Madoff through another day. Unfortunately, the news came less than a week too late. I can only imagine the ways in which this settlement will complicate the recovery process for Mark’s widow Stephanie and their two children.
According to the settlement reached between Picard and the Picower Estate, Picower withdrew a total of $7.2 billion from Madoff’s firm over 20 years. $5 billion will be returned to defrauded investors and $2.2 billion will be returned to U.S. authorities, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.