(JTA) — About 11,000 victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme could recover some of their losses.
Richard Breeden, special master of the Madoff Victim Fund, said he will recommend U.S. Justice Department approval for payments on the claims totaling some $1.3 billion, Reuters reported Friday. The fund, which contains more than $4 billion, allows those who were indirectly affected by the scheme, such as hedge fund and bank clients, to try to recoup some of their losses.
The number of victims who could be approved for payments could double in the future, according to Reuters. Some 60,000 claims are being reviewed.
The fund is separate from the monies being administered by trustee Irving Picard, who is liquidating Madoff’s business.
Madoff victims lost about $17.5 billion of principal in the scheme.
Madoff, 76, is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison for a scheme believed to be the largest of its kind in U.S. history. He pleaded guilty in March 2009.
The scheme affected a disproportionate number of Jewish individuals and organizations.