Investors push Madoff toward bankruptcy

Judge approves the court filing by five investors seeking about $64 million over objections from SEC and US Attorney.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Five investors seeking nearly $64 million from Bernard Madoff filed court papers on Monday to force the convicted swindler into bankruptcy.

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission tried to block such proceedings. In papers filed Wednesday, the commission argued that "a bankruptcy filing is likely to lead to unnecessarily high administrative costs and confusion without any apparent benefits."

The trustee tasked with liquidating Madoff's assets and the U.S. Attorney's office also argued against bankruptcy proceedings.

But on Friday, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton of the Southern District Court of New York cleared the way for the bankruptcy filing.

Stanton's ruling asserted that personal bankruptcy proceedings would be the best recourse for investors trying to recover their money.

"The concern that appointment of a bankruptcy trustee will increase administrative costs or delay recovery by victims is speculative, and outweighed by the benefits to Mr. Madoff's victims of a bankruptcy trustee's orderly and equitable administration of his individual estate," Stanton contended.

Madoff is in jail at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan after pleading guilty to operating one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history. Madoff's investors have lost billions.

Madoff's lawyers have listed his worth at up to $826 million.

Madoff faces 150 years in prison when he is sentenced June 16.

CNN's Emily Anderson and Mythili Rao contributed to this report. To top of page

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