NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Checks have been mailed to some victims of Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme.
Court-appointed trustee Irving Picard announced $2.5 billion in checks have been sent to former investors who lost their fortunes in the fraud.
Picard said he has now satisfied nearly half of the valid claims filed by Madoff's former clients.
The formula devised by Picard will only repay investors who lost money in the Ponzi scheme. Investors led to believe they had made money will not be paid out on those expected earnings.
The decades-long fraud cost investors about $17.3 billion, Picard estimated. Since becoming the trustee for victims swindled in the scheme, Picard said he has recovered more than $9 billion.
Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He is currently serving a 150-year sentence.
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