John Malkovich's filing calls the trustee's finding on investor… (Eduardo Verdugo / Associated…)
Actor John Malkovich is seeking to recover $2.3 million from an account he had with the securities firm of Bernard Madoff, who conducted the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.
Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Madoff's firm, in August approved a claim for $670,000 for the actor's pension plan and trust, more than $1.5 million short of the value of the securities in Malkovich's account listed on his November 2008 final statement, attorneys for the actor said in a filing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
Picard had told Malkovich that he wasn't entitled to the full amount because no securities were purchased for his account and the approved claim reflects what he deposited with Madoff's firm, according to the filing. But the actor's lawyers said Malkovich was owed the full amount on the final statement.
"The trustee's determination assumes that Bernard Madoff never earned funds and therefore all gains reported to customers were fictitious," according to the filing. "This assumption is contrary to fact."
Thousands of Madoff customers objected to Picard's methodology for calculating what they are owed, arguing that he wrongfully set claims based on their cash deposits minus withdrawals instead of using the amounts on Madoff's final account statements.
Picard, hired by Securities Investor Protection Corp. to repay victims of the $65-billion fraud, has said that using account statements to set claims would let the con man decide who gets what, and include profit from trades that didn't really happen.