Employer-managed retirement funds ruled ineligible for Madoff restitution

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — Individuals who lost money from employer-managed retirement funds invested with Bernard Madoff are not eligible to receive money from the liquidation of the Ponzi schemer’s firm.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stuart Bernstein ruled Friday that only direct customers of Madoff are eligible for liquidation funds, The Wall Street Journal reported. However, the judge ruled that those who lost in the employer-managed funds may be eligible for the liquidation money if the retirement plan administrators file claims.

Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee managing claims on Madoff’s estate, has argued that such claims are ineligible because the individuals cannot prove they entrusted their money to Madoff’s firm.

In 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 felonies for fabricating nearly $65 billion in profits to attract investors. He is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina.

His Ponzi scheme hit numerous Jewish philanthropies and investors particularly hard. Among those who suffered were Hadassah, the Elie Wiesel Foundation and the American Jewish Congress.