Madoff kin and former workers sued for $69 million

By Rich Barbieri, deputy managing editor


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The court-appointed trustee trying to recover money stolen by Bernard Madoff has sued the Ponzi con's relatives and former employees in a bid for $69 million.

Trustee Irving Picard said he brought 40 lawsuits on Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. He filed 22 suits against relatives of Madoff and his wife, Ruth. The other 18 cases were filed against former employees of Madoff's company.

The defendants had among them 66 accounts through which the $69 million was allegedly diverted to Madoff and others, according to Picard.

"The [lawsuits] are a continuation of our recovery efforts against the Madoff relatives and employees who were closest to the center of the fraud and who were, in many cases, among those who benefited most from the Ponzi scheme," said Picard.

Earlier last week, Picard sued UBS (UBS) AG for $2 billion, accusing the Swiss financial firm of participating in Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

As of Nov. 19, in the most recent tally available, the trustee had approved a total of 2,305 claims from victims, totaling nearly $5.8 billion in damages.

Madoff, 72, pleaded guilty in March 2009 to 11 counts related to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history and was sentenced to 150 years. He is incarcerated at a medium security federal prison in Butner, N.C.

Using his investment firm as a front, Madoff claimed to be investing his clients' money. He kept the fraud going by using deposits from new clients to provide so-called returns to more mature clients. But in reality, he was stealing the money and there were no returns.

-- CNN's Miguel Susana contributed to this report. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 3:52pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.