Trustee sues Madoff relatives for $69 million

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Irving H. Picard, the court appointed trustee overseeing the recovery of assets by people who were defrauded by Bernard L. Madoff, filed a stack of lawsuits on Friday seeking to recover funds from investors, employees and family members.

The 40 lawsuits ask for the return of $69 million, from people that took more money from the funds than they invested. One of the parties, Marion Madoff, wife of Peter Madoff, Bernard’s brother, improperly received $14.1 million of funds, according to the filing. Madoff’s wife, Ruth, was also sued.

Madoff is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence for running the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history, uncovered by authorities in 2008. Picard is racing against a Dec.11 legal deadline to file claims, since U.S. law provides that claimants have two years to file lawsuits once they became aware of a fraud.

Last week, Picard sued Swiss bank UBS AG and others for more than $2 billion, for their involvement in the scheme. He claims the bank referred clients to Madoff, and then looked the other way as he defrauded them.

“The complaints filed today are a continuation of our recovery efforts against the Madoff relatives and employees who were closest to the center of the fraud and who were, in many cases, among those who benefited most from the Ponzi scheme,” Picard said in a statement

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