Madoff's Wife Agrees to Pay Victims $600,000 to Settle Suit

(Bloomberg) -- Bernard Madoff’s wife agreed to give victims of her husband’s Ponzi scheme almost $600,000 to settle a decade-long lawsuit by a trustee who claimed she profited from the fraud.

Ruth Madoff, who’s been living quietly out of the public eye since her husband began serving a 150-year prison term, also agreed to transfer all her remaining assets to a fund for victims after she dies, according to settlement papers filed May 3 in New York by the trustee, Irving Picard.

Under the terms of the deal, Ruth Madoff will make an upfront cash payment of $250,000 to Picard and transfer another $344,000 from two other accounts she had set up for two of her grandchildren. She also agreed to cooperate with the Securities Investor Protection Corp., the industry-backed regulator that hired Picard and still has at least 100 other lawsuits pending.

Her lawyer, Peter Chavkin, declined to comment.

The settlement was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

Picard’s lawsuit accused Ruth Madoff of getting $44 million in phony profit from her husband’s $20 billion Ponzi scheme. Under an earlier settlement with federal prosecutors the couple forfeited their homes, financial holdings and other property, but Ruth Madoff was allowed to keep $2.5 million. That deal didn’t preclude the trustee from going after the money.

So far the trustee has recovered more than $13 billion through settlements and distributed more than $12 billion to victims -- significantly more than some predicted a decade ago.

Read More: The Madoff Players: Where Are They Now and What Are They Up To?

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