Irving Picard, the trustee in charge of recovering Bernie Madoff's assets, has filed suit against the Ponzi schemer's wife, Ruth Madoff, seeking the return of $44.8 million she received from her husband’s company before he was arrested in December. In court papers, Picard wrote that Ruth was liable since she
received tens of millions of dollars from Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities to support her “life of splendor,” while customers of the firm received no corresponding benefit.
Ruth's lawyer, Peter Chavkin, said in a statement that the suit was "perplexing" since Ruth forfeited to the federal prosecutor's office nearly all of her assets just last month. And frankly, we kind of agree. It's a theatrical gesture, and one that might make investors feel satisfied. But they're probably not going to get anything else out of it, unless someone can figure out a way to divide "a life of splendor," already lived, into tranches and find some sucker of a financial institution to buy them. Last we checked, we still had a couple of those in this country.