18 Dec 2010

Settlement adds billions to Madoff investors' recovery pot

10:24 pm on 18 December 2010

The trustee appointed to recover money stolen by the American financier Bernard Madoff has reached a multi-billion dollar settlement with the estate of a man identified as the biggest single beneficiary of the fraud.

It means about half of the money lost in the swindle will ultimately be recouped, the BBC reports.

Madoff, 72, is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in March last year to orchestrating what is considered the biggest financial fraud in history.

It is estimated investors lost about $US20 billion.

The court-appointed trustee, Irving Picard, has won agreement from the estate of longtime Madoff friend, Jeffry Picower, to give back almost $US10 billion from the fraud.

The settlement significantly boosts the recovery pot to close to $US14 billion, capping a weeks' long flurry of settlements and lawsuits.