Investors who profited off of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme must return their profits, an appeals court ruled Thursday, even if they were unaware that they were part of anything illegal.
The ruling, issued by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, upheld similar decisions reached by lower courts, the Associated Press reported.
Madoff’s multi-decade scheme was uncovered in 2009 after his son, Mark, alerted the FBI that Madoff had defrauded thousands of investors. Madoff, 82, pleaded guilty to federal charges and is serving a 150-year prison sentence. His bid to be released early on the grounds of his ailing health was denied in June. (RELATED: John Brennan Compares Trump To Bernie Madoff)
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) September 25, 2020
Though those who unknowingly profited fought in court to keep their profits, the three-judge panel concluded that the investors were not entitled to “fictitious” profits that originally belonged to investors that had been cheated, the AP reported.
The ruling was a win for Irving Picard, a court-appointed trustee who has recovered over $14.3 billion dollars in cheated money over the past decade, according to the AP.
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