NEW YORK (JTA) — The trustee for Bernard Madoff’s estate is suing the disgraced money manager’s wife Ruth for $45 million.
Irving Picard sued Ruth Madoff on July 29 for $44.8 million, claiming that she received tens of millions of dollars from her husband’s investment firm, enabling her to live a “life of splendor,” The New York Times reported.
Picard, who is charged with returning as much money to the Ponzi scheme victims as possible, is not alleging that Ruth Madoff was in on the scheme, only that she wrongfully benefited from her husband’s theft of billions of dollars.
Money from her husband’s scheme went to pay for Ruth Madoff’s own business ventures and to her private expenses, including $3 million to pay for charges to her American Express card over the past six years, the Times reported.
Madoff’s victims have been allowed to apply for the $500,000 reparations that the Securities Investor Protection Corp. pays to customers of failed brokerage firms. According to the Times, Madoff’s victims have made 15,400 claims to the SIPC, which may have to pay out about $284 million.