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The trustee who was appointed by the court to oversee the financial doings of the Madoff family has filed a lawsuit demanding that they return almost $200 million dollars that were supposed to be given to investors who were cheated in the scam by Bernard Madoff. The trustee claims that the brother, son and a niece of Bernard Madoff used the funds “like a piggy bank.”

Irving Picard is the trustee and he is suing Madoff’s sons Andrew and Mark, his brother Peter and his niece, Peter’s daughter, Shana, for $198.7 million. Peter had worked for his brother’s Manhattan investment company for the past 44 years. Lawyers for all involved had no comment as of yet.

Mr. Picard discovered that the family group used the funds for their own purposes withdrawing money whenever they wanted calling the account the “family piggy bank.” The money that was withdrawn was used to purchase cars and boats, multimillion dollar homes, and even went to pay credit card purchases that were used for clothes, vacations and dining out at expensive restaurants.

The family members were the recipients of around $141 million in the past six years and about $58 million in the past two years. Bernie Madoff admitted to his fraudulent scam in December of 2008. He is guilty of bilking people out of billions of dollars through a Ponzi scheme with some people losing their life’s savings.

Madoff’s brother served as the senior managing director and chief compliance officer for the company. Madoff’s son Mark worked for his father for 23 years while his brother Andrew joined the company in 1988. Peter Madoff’s daughter is a lawyer and has worked for her uncle for the past 14 years as the compliance counsel and in-house counsel. According to Picard, the group oftentimes represented themselves as business and securities regulatory compliance managers as well as principals of the company.

While the group supposedly gave themselves such prestigious titles, the truth of the matter is if they had indeed been doing the jobs that they claimed they did, the scam would have either been discovered and stopped from the beginning or at the very least stopped long enough ago to have kept some people from losing all of their investments.

Bernard Madoff has been sentenced to 150 years in prison for the Ponzi scheme he worked for years. Judge Denny Chin from the Manhattan federal court in New York has determined that it would be too difficult to try to order restitution to all of Madoff’s victims. Instead the court is using the forfeiture principles which may make distributions to the victims on a pro-rata basis.

This would eliminate the victims from having to re-live the ordeal and provide proof of their losses but would also put them in the position of having to wait for Madoff’s assets that have been seized to be sold and monies distributed from the sales.

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