The deadline for filing claims with the federal Madoff Victim Fund (the “MVF”) has been extended to April 30, 2014. This extension was recommended by Special Master Richard C. Breeden, who is administering the MVF on behalf of the Department of Justice.
To date, the MVF has received approximately 9,000 claims from victims of the crimes committed in connection with the fraud at Madoff Securities. Approximately 94 percent of claims come from individuals who either did not file a bankruptcy claim or whose claim was denied as an indirect investor. Roughly 75 percent of claimants have recovered nothing, or less than 10 percent of their losses, since Madoff Securities collapsed. Approximately 60 percent of claims have come from residents of the United States, with the remaining 40 percent of claims coming from victims of the fraud in more than 75 countries.
In announcing the extension, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “We are very pleased at the response the Madoff Victim Fund has received from thousands of victims of this historic fraud. The MVF is reaching a much broader universe of victims than previous efforts, including many indirect investors who have not yet recovered anything in the five years since Madoff’s arrest. The theft of these victims’ savings was every bit as real as for direct investors, and we are determined to help every genuine victim who lost money as a result of the Madoff fraud.”
Special Master Breeden noted, “Claims are pouring in to MVF from all over the world. Many of these claims are proving quite complex, often with investments that flowed through three or more intermediaries. The average claim we have received to date includes more than 75 pages of transactions and financial records. Therefore, we believe that thousands of additional claimants will benefit from having a bit more time to complete and file properly documented claims.”
Information concerning MVF and its claim process is published at www.madoffvictimfund.com. Eligibility is open to all persons who invested their own money in Madoff Securities either directly, or indirectly through feeder funds, family trusts, or other pooled investment vehicles, and who lost their funds as a direct result of the collapse of the firm. Claimants must be the “ultimate investors” who lost their own funds in the collapse of the firm, not intermediaries who managed money on behalf of others or claims purchasers after the fact. Thus, banks, insurance companies, feeder funds, trust companies, hedge funds, and similar entities generally are not eligible to recover from MVF, while the actual individuals whose money was lost by investing through such firms are eligible to seek a recovery. Frequently Asked Questions on the MVF’s website outline the specific criteria for eligibility and measurement of net losses. Claim forms are available for download at www.madoffvictimfund.com.
After reading the materials published on the website, potential claimants can email additional questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call MVF’s hotline at 001 (866) 624-3670.
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