Madoff trustee wants $43 million more in pay

irving_picard.gi.top.jpgIrving Picard, the court-appointed trustee in the recovery of assets lost to Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, submitted a $43 million legal bill to the court. By Aaron Smith, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The lawyers trying to clean up the mess left behind by Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme asked a judge for another multi-million dollar payday.

Baker & Hostetler, the firm of court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, put in the request for nearly $43.2 million to cover four months of work ending Jan. 31, according to court documents Monday. The fees must be approved by a federal judge.

Picard's firm has already been paid nearly $128 million -- part of $290 million billed by all of the law firms and consultants working on the case.

Picard himself put in a separate request for about $714,000. He has been paid $3.2 million.

The trustee and his firm are being paid to recover assets that were lost to Madoff's long-running, sweeping pyramid scheme. The trustee has recovered at least half of the $20 billion in estimated losses. He has also sued individuals and companies for allegedly profiting from the scheme, with the suits totaling $100 billion.

The legal fees are paid from money collected by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., which runs an insurance fund financed by Wall Street brokerage firms.

David Paige, chief executive and founder of Sterling Analytics, which analyzes legal fees, said there are "too many attorneys on the case, all with very high average hourly rates."

The documents filed by Picard's firm reveal that the lawyers were paid at a rate of $437.89 per hour, while paralegals and library staff were paid a rate of $250 per hour. Also, the firm outlined $1.1 million in expenses, including $74,000 for copying, $92,000 for local travel, $202,000 for out-of-town travel and nearly $54,000 for business meals.

A spokeswoman for Picard's firm was not immediately available for comment.

The second-largest request is from legal firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, which billed the court for more than $3 million, followed by Taylor Wessing, special counsel to the trustee, who asked for about $1.5 million.

Nine other firms and lawyers have submitted bills totaling nearly $800,000. Judge Burton Lifland of the Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve the bill during a hearing on May 12.

Of the 16,518 investors who filed claims with the trustee as Madoff victims, the trustee has determined that only 2,410 are "allowed," meaning that they are eligible for compensation.

These victims are eligible for about $6.8 billion in total compensation, including the $793 million that they already received from SIPC.

Meanwhile, Madoff is serving a 150-year sentence at a federal prison in North Carolina. 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 16,563.30 -317.06 -1.88%
Nasdaq 4,369.77 0.00 0.00%
S&P 500 1,930.67 -39.40 -2.00%
Treasuries 2.56 0.00 0.08%
Data as of 6:25am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.25 -0.33 -2.12%
Micron Technology In... 30.55 -1.98 -6.09%
Apple Inc 95.60 -2.55 -2.60%
Facebook Inc 72.65 -2.03 -2.71%
Pfizer Inc 28.70 -0.56 -1.91%
Data as of Jul 31

Sections

Malaysia Airlines was in major trouble even before the twin disasters of Flight 370 and Flight 17 claimed the lives of 537 people. More

With RadioShack burning through cash, investors and credit rating agencies believe its days are numbered. More

LinkedIn shares surged in after-hours trading Thursday following strong second-quarter earnings, following the likes of Facebook and Twitter. More

Terrell White has had a profit-sharing plan for his employees since 1981, believing that if the staff isn't happy, guests won't be either. More

The Mason family, which has been struggling to pay the $100,000 student loan bill they were left with when their daughter passed away five years ago, is now seeing an outpouring of support. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. 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.