On December 17, 2010, the trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, Irving Picard, and the Manhattan US Attorney’s office announced a $7.2 billion settlement with the estate of Jeffry Picower. Picower, who died in October of last year, was one of the wealthiest Americans and a Madoff investor for over 35 years. The lawsuit against him alleged that he had benefited from Madoff’s fraud more than anyone else, to the tune of $7 billion. The settlement represents a $5 billion recovery for the trustee and a $2.2 billion forfeiture to the federal government. The entire settlement will go toward making Madoff’s victims whole. When counting this settlement, the trustee has recovered more than one-third of the principal lost in the ponzi scheme.
Picard announced that the Customer Fund will begin making distributions to Madoff’s investors with allowed claims in the first three months of the new year.