Madoff trustee, firm awarded another $45.3 million

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 21, 2011 4:28 PM
Madoff trustee, firm awarded another $45.3 million

(Reuters) - Irving Picard, the trustee seeking money for victims of Bernard Madoff's fraud, and his law firm were awarded another $45.3 million of fees by the judge overseeing the liquidation of the imprisoned Ponzi schemer's investment advisory firm.

In an order made public on Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland in Manhattan awarded Baker & Hostetler $44.7 million and Picard $599,301 for their work in the four months ended May 31, a court filing shows.

They will be paid a respective $40.25 million and $539,371, for a total of $40.8 million, for the period, reflecting a 10 percent discount from their normal hourly rates.

The award brings total fees awarded to the law firm and trustee to $225.1 million since Madoff's arrest in December 2008, and the total payout to $202.6 million. Lifland has awarded an additional $4.9 million to cover expenses.

Picard has filed more than 1,050 lawsuits on behalf of Madoff's victims, and has said he expects to spend more time on federal litigation in future compensation periods.

Most of the lawsuits are against former Madoff customers he believes took out more money from Madoff's firm than they put in, including owners of the New York Mets baseball team.

Some are against banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co and "feeder funds" that dealt with Madoff and that the trustee believes turned a blind eye to the fraud. Madoff's son Andrew is appealing a court decision allowing Picard's $199 million lawsuit against him and other family members to go forward.

Earlier this month, Picard announced his first, $312 million payout to victims. The trustee said he has recovered about $8.7 billion, but a majority of that sum is tied up in litigation. A court ruling last month in the Mets case could reduce potential future recoveries by as much as $6.2 billion.

Madoff, 73, is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

The case is In re: Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-01789.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gary Hill)