Madoff trustee begins $1.19 billion payout to victims
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff's firm on Friday began distributing another $1.19 billion to victims of the swindler's Ponzi scheme.
Irving Picard, the trustee, said the payout will boost distributions to more than $9.16 billion.
Next week marks the seventh anniversary of the uncovering of Madoff's decades-long fraud. Madoff, 77, pleaded guilty in March 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison term.
The latest payout will go to holders of 1,071 accounts at the former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Picard said he will make individual distributions ranging from $1,298 to $202 million.
Once they are made, 1,269 of the 2,238 Madoff accounts with valid claims will have been fully satisfied, and everyone owed $1.16 million or less will have been paid in full, the trustee said.
Picard has recovered or reached agreements to recover roughly $10.91 billion, about three-fifths of the $17.5 billion of principal he has said Madoff customers lost.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish)
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