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Madoff investors may have to cough up profits

By David Ellis, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The man in charge of recovering funds for investors duped by Ponzi mastermind Bernard Madoff has a new target: Investors who profited from Madoff's crimes.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Monday, court-appointed trustee Irving Picard said he was preparing to file lawsuits against half of 2,000 individuals who made money through their investments with Madoff.

The move would represent a new tack in Picard's efforts to compensate Madoff's victims. Thus far, most of his energies have been focused on recovering money from those who were closest to Madoff, including his family members, and from funds that invested with him as well.

"The people who made money, who got more, have made money at the expense of the people who didn't," Picard told the paper.

Picard declined to elaborate on the Journal report.

Some individuals who profited have told Picard they planned to settle. He also told the paper that he would exempt investors who can demonstrate that returning funds would leave them financially strapped.

Picard will have until the end of December to file any lawsuit looking to reclaim funds from that group of investors.

So far, investigators say they have confiscated about $1.5 billion worth of assets from Madoff's estate, which falls far short of the approximately $20 billion in investor funds that were lost to his scheme. To top of page

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