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Trustee for Madoff Ponzi scheme funds recovery making millions

Who will get back more: the lawyer or the victims?

Irving H. Picard is a court-appointed trustee. That means that he is a lawyer working for parties in this case to recover funds lost in Bernard Madoff’s giant Ponzi scheme. Many people lost their life’s savings in this scheme which investigators and regulators eventually stopped. The investigators pressed charges against Mr. Madoff.

Now, Mr. Picard, working at $850 per hour, is attempting to recover as much money as he can for the victims of the scheme as he can. Yet, he has received criticism for his high fees according to an article in the May 29, 2012 edition of the New York Times.

Mr. Picard has recovered much money for himself and other law firms–$544 million. He estimates the whole case will cost $1 billion.  The trustee has recovered $330 million for the victims. While that is a large sum, it is nowhere near the approximately $100 billion he originally hoped to recover. He has moved that figure down to $17.3 billion. Mr. Picard has said that firms have appealed many of his recovery settlements and as a result, he has not recovered as much money as he should have.

So far Mr. Picard has earned $5.1 million personally. The New York Times says “one would hope that he (Mr. Picard) would have pursued a more effective legal strategy that would have made a lot more money for the victims than the lawyers.”

The law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. ( is here to help you. If you are considering bankruptcy, call our office to arrange a free initial consultation: (800) 660-5299. Mr. Lutzky has over 29 years of experience practicing law in New York.

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