Nearly $2.5 billion in checks were mailed Wednesday to victims in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS), according to the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC).
With approximately $17.3 billion in principal estimated to have been lost in the Ponzi scheme by direct BLMIS customers who filed claims, SIPC issued a statement Thursday saying that it applauds “the hard work of Trustee Irving H. Picard and his attorneys in reaching that major milestone.”
When combined with the funds already returned to BLMIS customers, SIPC says that “the second interim distribution satisfies more than 50% of the total Madoff accounts with allowed claims. Nearly 1,100 accounts were covered by the second distribution.”
The Trustee’s recovery of more than $9.147 billion has been made possible through advances provided by SIPC, which is funded by the securities industry. To date, SIPC says it has advanced over $800 million to pay customer claims and an additional $621 million to fund the liquidation proceeding. No monies recovered by the Trustee have been used to pay any administrative expenses, and all recoveries made by the Trustee benefit customers, according to SIPC.
SIPC President Stephen Harbeck said in a statement that “This shows that the customer protection program created by Congress works. Trustee Picard has been tireless in his efforts to recover monies and distribute them in a fair and equitable way to all customers with allowed claims at the failed BLMIS brokerage.” In doing so, Harbeck continued, Picard “has been able to satisfy more than half of the BLMIS accounts with allowed claims. We are pleased that SIPC has played an important role in making possible the recoveries. SIPC will continue to work with the Trustee to achieve the maximum recovery for customers.”