The Madoff scandal: Surveying the wreckage on fifth ‘anniversary’

Despite time passed, level of complexity means many large issues concerning recovering of funds are still up in the air.

December 9, 2013 22:53
1 minute read.
Bernard Madoff exits the Manhattan federal court house in New York, January 14, 2009

Bernard Madoff 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Five years after the arrest of Bernard Madoff and the blowing open of one of the largest fraud’s perpetrated in history, $4.9 billion of the approximately $17 billion principal (and $64 billion value on paper) which Madoff swindled and squandered has been recovered and repaid to some of his victims.

But the level of complexity of the fraud and the sheer breadth of the victims has meant that many large issues are still up in the air.

After thousands of lawsuits, two major court cases are still pending – with no clear decision date – which reportedly could determine the fate of as much as another $7 billion in recoveries for victims.

An entire industry has sprung up around the Madoff cases, with the US government’s lead prosecuting trustee earning around $800 million in legal fees, and ironically in light of the context, investment funds betting on cases and trading the rights to expected winnings of some cases.

At the same time, the trustee and a variety of parties are negotiating and determining which victims will not get paid and which will get “refunded” only part of their losses in light of the impossibility of completely repaying all victims.

Madoff also broke his silence recently in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, accusing his investors of knowing that he was perpetrating fraud on their behalf, but enjoying the strong investment returns and wanting not to ask hard questions.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery