Madoff Scheme Widow Gives Back $7.2B…Is There Now Room in Heaven for Her?

You know the story of Bernard Madoff, right?  The swindler who is now in jail after nearly bankrupting scores of investors in a Ponzi scheme was in the news Friday when the WSJ reported something unprecedented.  A widow whose husband was greatly enriched by money earned in Madoff’s scheme has agreed to return $7.2 billion to the victims of the fraud.

Now nobody needs to worry about Barbara Picower having to move under a bridge as a result of this generous action. She’s still got hundreds of millions that her late husband Jeffry Picower made from his other investments. But I can sense that she must be thinking about heaven when she wrote that nine-figure check that will be disbursed to the victims in the months ahead.

The US Attorney has been trying to wring profits back from those who benefited across the world. And mostly, their requests have been scoffed at, or ignored. Lawsuits total $50 billion and include major banks and foreign entities, most of whom refuse to settle.Sonja Kohn is an Austrian banker had her lawyer tell the requesting parties that their $19 billion suit ‘has nothing to do with reality.”

Despite the widow’s generous largesse to the victims, she still takes pains to make sure that nobody thinks Jeffry Picower was anything but innocent of Madoff’s evil scheme. The banker died in his swimming pool recently, after suffering a heart attack. “Nobody has charged him with any illegal conduct,” she said.  Yet the US Attorney say that the dead banker did get special treatment…his investment returns totalled a whopping 100 percent and most sophisticated investors might have been a little suspicious of that kind of a windfall.