Bernard Madoff, whose epic Ponzi scheme collapsed nearly four years ago. (David Karp / Associated…)
NEW YORK -- More checks are in the mail for Bernard Madoff's victims, nearly four years after his epic Ponzi scheme collapsed.
Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Madoff's firm, mailed checks worth nearly $2.5 billion on Wednesday.
The distribution -- the trustee's second -- satisfies about half of the allowed claims filed by Madoff's investor, Picard's office announced Thursday.
Madoff investors had received an earlier October 2011 distribution of $343 million. The trustee's office says it has now distributed a total of $3.6 billion to Madoff victims.
Picard has sued hundreds of Madoff customers who took out more cash than they contributed to Madoff's scheme, on the assumption they were pulling out investment profits.
The trustee said he has recovered (or reached settlements to recover) $9.1 billion, or 53%, of the estimated $17.3 billion in principal contributed by Madoff's victims.
“In addition to recovering as much stolen money as possible for Madoff’s victims, we are also moving forward aggressively to resolve litigation and appeals which are delaying further distributions" to Madoff customers, David Sheehan, an attorney working with Picard, said in a statement. "We are confident in our positions and we look forward to putting more recovered funds back in the hands of their rightful owners in the near future.”
Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence. The FBI arrested him in December 2008.
Former trader to Congress: stock markets 'in a crisis'
Jobless claims data point to soft job growth in September
Bank of America speeds up branch closures, 16,000 job cuts