TEXT OF STORY
Bob Moon: Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff is facing sentencing today in a New York courtroom. Federal prosecutors want the max — 150 years; Madoff’s lawyers say 12 is more than enough.
Meantime, his thousands of victims — from Hollywood stars to middle-class teachers and farmers who lost their life savings — want their money back. By last count, they had invested roughly $65 billion with him. But as Ashley Milne-Tyte reports, they shouldn’t count on getting much of it back.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: For one thing, given Madoff’s accounting shenanigans, that $65 billion number could be wildly inaccurate. Jerry Reisman is a lawyer for some of Madoff’s victims. He says Madoff’s liquidated assets will only cover a fraction of investors’ losses. Like the retired doctor from Flori who recently consulted Reisman.
JERRY REISMAN: He had about $11 million with Madoff. Lost that, is forced to sell his home and has taken a job as a security guard at Publix.
A supermarket chain. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation, or SIPC, works to recover investor funds when a brokerage firm fails. Reisman says it’s going after some of the Madoff feeder funds.
REISMAN: But they themselves lost fortunes, so it’s going to be very difficult to procure any great recovery on behalf of these victims.
Madoff investors have until July 2nd to register a claim with SIPC. Depending on the size and type of their investments, they could get back a maximum of $500,000.
In New York I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.