At least 1,000 lawsuits filed in the hope of recovering more than $50 billion for the victims of Bernie Madoff’s massive swindle can now proceed, since the deadline for filing suits has passed. The deadline was Saturday, the second anniversary of Madoff’s arrest for running what is thought to be the worst investment fraud in the history of the country, a Ponzi scheme that bilked billions of dollars from thousands of clients. It was also the day that Madoff’s elder son, Mark Madoff, was found hanged in his SoHo home in an apparent suicide.
According to a report in The Boston Globe, David Sheehan, attorney for the trustee charged with recovering assets, Irving H. Picard, said he expected many of the suits to be settled before coming to trial. Mark Madoff’s suicide would not affect the suits against him or his younger brother Andrew, said Sheehan, nor would it affect suits against other relatives. Sheehan said that most of the suits had been filed in bankruptcy court within the past three weeks, and that he was getting ready for a siege of challenges against them.