May 29, 2019
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge has approved Ruth Madoff’s $594,000 settlement with the court-appointed trustee who is liquidating her husband Bernard Madoff’s firm and raising money for the swindler’s victims.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein in Manhattan authorized the settlement on Tuesday.
The accord calls for Ruth Madoff, 78, who was not charged over her husband’s Ponzi scheme and has denied knowledge of it, to pay $250,000 in cash and give up $344,000 of trusts for two grandchildren.
She also agreed to surrender her remaining assets upon her death to Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.
Picard had sued Ruth Madoff for $44.8 million in 2009, but in a May 3 filing called the settlement a “fair and reasonable compromise,” citing her limited assets and the litigation risks.
The trustee also said the settlement was not evidence that Ruth Madoff admitted to participating in or knowing about her husband’s fraud, which was uncovered in December 2008.
Picard has estimated that Bernard Madoff’s customers lost $17.5 billion.
In June 2009, shortly before Bernard Madoff, 81, was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the Madoffs agreed with prosecutors to let federal marshals sell their assets, and allow Ruth Madoff to keep $2.5 million.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)