SIPC Supports $235 Million Settlement With Optimal in Madoff Liquidation

May 26, 2009, 11:04 ET from Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Washington, D.C.


As of Memorial Day, Over $116 Million in Commitments Made So Far to Satisfy 237 Madoff Claimants

WASHINGTON, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, today applauded the nearly quarter of a billion dollar settlement reached by Optimal Investment Services (Optimal) by Irving Picard, the trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS).

The $235 million settlement resolves all claims that the Trustee has against Optimal, which has agreed to pay an amount equal to 85 percent of the amount of the Trustee's original claims.

To date, the Trustee has collected over $1.2 billion for victims of the Madoff fraud. As of Memorial Day, letters for commitments in excess of $116 million had been sent by the Trustee to 237 claimants in the BLMIS liquidation.

Stephen Harbeck, president, Securities Investor Protection Corporation, said: "SIPC supports the settlement wholeheartedly. It is in the best interest of the customers of the Madoff brokerage firm. This settlement is the result of extensive factual research, diligent legal scholarship, and practical craftsmanship by the Trustee and his attorneys. It is a roadmap for similar recoveries that will benefit the victims of Bernard Madoff's crimes."

For more information about SIPC liquidation proceedings, see "The Investor's Guide to Brokerage Firm Liquidations" at


The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is the U.S. investor's first line of defense in the event a brokerage firm fails, owing customer cash and securities that are missing from customer accounts. SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a brokerage insolvency case to recover funds.

The statute that created SIPC provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities -- such as stocks or bonds -- that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash. From the time Congress created it in 1970 through December 2008, SIPC has advanced $520 million in order to make possible the recovery of $160 billion in assets for an estimated 761,000 investors.

INVESTOR CONTACTS: All investor inquires related to the BLMIS liquidation should be directed to All investor inquiries of SIPC should be directed to or (202) 371-8300.

SOURCE Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Washington, D.C.