As a Reuters article suggests, the Court made a June 26 Order which directed Mr. Madoff to forfeit $170 billion in assets.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also no longer seeking forfeiture of all of the assets of Bernard Madoff’s wife, Ruth.  It is Instead permitting Mrs. Madoff to retain $2.5 million of her assets since she has relinquished her claims to Madoff owned property under U.S. asset forfeiture laws.  

The foregoing is mentioned in a stipulation with has been filed in Court.  This stipulation explains that $2.5 million will be turned over to Mrs. Madoff once she vacates real property and surrenders her personal property.  (Stipulation, at  pp. 7-8  ¶3).  Despite exempting the $2.5 million from asset forfeiture, Mrs. Madoff may not necessarily get to keep this money.  This is true because the stipulation: 

… does not preclude any other department or agency of the United States or any other person or entity, including but not limited to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Irving H. Picard, Esq. as trustee for the liquidation of business of defendant Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC… from seeking to recover the funds from RUTH MADOFF.  (Stipulation, at page 8, ¶ 3).


Mrs. Madoff is therefore still subject to any claims possessed by Madoff trustee Irving Picard and many others.  These claims could arise out of Mrs. Madoff’s alleged role as a wrongful transferee of funds related to Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  Mrs. Madoff for example, might have transferred millions to herself in anticipation of Mr. Madoff’s arrest, as mentioned by: "Bernard Madoff & The Badges Of Fraud". 

She is also alleged to be among the beneficiaries of a corporate American Express credit card that may have been used to dissipate assets related to Mr. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.  Documents which might help show this suspected asset dissipation were attached as "Exhibit 25" to a May 5 affidavit filed for trustee Picard.  One of these documents was included in a Huffington Post article and is reproduced below. 


Click On Image To Enlarge

Copyright 2009 Fred L. Abrams