Judge approves $543M settlement for Madoff victims

The victims of Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme will recover another $543 million under a settlement with JPMorgan Chase approved Tuesday by a federal bankruptcy judge.

The bank will pay settlements in a handful of lawsuits stemming from Madoff's ponzi scheme. The victims claimed that the bank ignored warning signs from Madoff's account because it benefited from his business.

Madoff, 75, pleaded guilty to running to largest ponzi scheme in U.S. history in 2009.

As is typical with a ponzi scheme, Madoff would use money from new investors to pay earlier investors. The victims claimed the bank should have seen the warning signs when Madoff would deposit large amounts of money into his account, rather than investing it.

Thousands of victims represented by trustee Irving Picard will receive payouts from a $325 million pool of money, while JPMorgan will pay another $218 million to settle separate class-action litigation. 

In total, Picard estimates he has recovered more than $10 billion for the victims, which is about 59 percent of the $17 billion they lost.

The settlement, announced last month, was approved Tuesday by U.S. bankruptcy judge Stuart Bernstein.

“The settlements are fair, reasonable and in the best interest of the Madoff estate,” Bernstein said.

The settlement does not include a group of about 200 of Madoff's investors, who made more money than they lost in the ponzi scheme. They declined to be part of Picard's lawsuit, because they plan to sue JPMorgan in a separate lawsuit, they have said.

More in Banking/Financial Institutions

Lawmakers question Holder on bank settlement proceeds

Read more »