Madoff trustee starts distributing more than $1 billion to Ponzi scheme victims

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A court-appointed trustee has started distributing a $1.19 billion installment to victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.

The payout announced Friday by Irving Picard will mean that Madoff’s former clients have received $9.16 billion so far. He said individual victims will receive distributions ranging from $1,298 to $202 million.

Next week marks the seventh anniversary of Madoff’s arrest for one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history. At the time, his customers believed their accounts contained nearly $65 billion. But Picard found they actually lost about $17 billion.

The 77-year-old Madoff pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison term.