Man, what a terrible return on your investment. Of the $50 billion Bernard Madoff swindled, investigators have been able to uncover only about $1 billion in remaining assets.
If the number holds, that means the recovery of money from his massive Ponzi scheme may total only 2 percent of what his victims gave him.
So far, the trustee liquidating Madoff’s firm has found $830 million in liquid assets. When the value of Madoff’s real-estate holdings, boats, jewelry and other property is factored in, the figure rises to approximately $1 billion, according to Bloomberg News.
Madoff coughed up a list of his holdings when prosecutors demanded he be jailed without bail after he tried to send $1 million in jewelry to family and friends.
US Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis yesterday considered arguments on whether Madoff, 70, should be allowed to remain under house arrest at his swanky East Side penthouse or be thrown in jail.
Ellis is set to deliver his ruling Monday at noon, officials said.
Prosecutors also received a 30-day extension yesterday to indict the alleged scammer after reaching a deal with the defense team.
The list of Madoff’s alleged victims include some of the world’s wealthiest people and the most sophisticated investment funds. One of his most high-profile victims, Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, called the swindle “extremely painful and humiliating for me.”
“It has done extraordinary damage to my philanthropy,” he told CNBC.
Katzenberg, who runs Dreamworks Animation, would not say how much money he lost, but the Los Angeles Times has reported it was at least $20 million.
Katzenberg, 58, had his funds invested with Madoff through his business manager, Gerald Breslauer, the LA Times reported.
“The first time I heard the name Bernie Madoff was about three weeks ago, when I found out that, you know, he had swindled all this money,” Katzenberg said.
In other developments, a Massachusetts-based hedge fund, GMB Capital Management, said it was shutting down a fund that was bilked out of more than $50 million by Madoff.
Also, investigators in Britain were trying to determine whether Madoff embezzled $150 million from his company’s operation there.
And Austria’s Bank Medici, which may have invested as much as $3 billion with Madoff, announced it was restructuring its board of directors and business strategy following the massive swindle. With Post Wire Services
* By LUKAS I. ALPERT and BRUCE GOLDING,January 10, 2009 (NYP)