Madoff to Forfeit $170 Billion In Assets Ahead of Sentencing

Bloomberg News
Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bernard L. Madoff will be required to forfeit $170 billion, eliminating his interest in all real estate, investments and other property, according to a ruling by Denny Chin, the judge in charge of Madoff's criminal case.

Madoff's apartment in Manhattan and houses in Palm Beach, Fla., and in Montauk on the east end of New York's Long Island will be sold by U.S. marshals.

Madoff approved an agreement with prosecutors and he and his wife Ruth would sell the properties to raise money to repay victims of his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, the biggest in history.

Madoff has been incarcerated at a federal jail in New York since pleading guilty in March. He faces a prison term of as long as 150 years when he is sentenced Monday.

By Chin's order, Madoff's Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen automobiles, boats and trailers will also be sold. His $39,000 Steinway piano and $65,000 worth of silverware, now in the Manhattan apartment, will also go.

Ruth Madoff will retain $2.5 million while giving up her claims to more than $80 million in assets under an agreement approved by Chin, prosecutors said. She has said she had $45 million in bonds and $17 million in cash that were "unrelated" to her husband's scheme.

Ira Sorkin, the attorney for Bernard Madoff, said the documents speak for themselves. Peter Chavkin, Ruth Madoff's attorney, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty March 12 to federal charges that he used money from new investors to pay off other clients in a Ponzi scheme. Before the fraud came to light, his customers were told they had as much as $65 billion.

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