This December, it will be the two-year-anniversary of the Bernard Madoff ponzi scheme revelations—which means that the trustee who is trying to recover assets for victims must file lawsuits against the Madoff investors took out more than they invested. Irving Picard, who has dubbed these "lucky" men and women the "net winners," told the Wall Street Journal, "The people who made money, who got more, have made money at the expense of the people who didn't."
However, even though Picard has offered to settle with the winners outside of court, few are jumping at that chance. Adele Fox, an 87-year-old retired school secretary who moved from NYC to Florida, "says she received two letters late last year from a lawyer for Mr. Picard asking her to repay a total of $691,372." Her statements showed that she had $3 million in her accounts when Madoff admitted his investments were a scam; Fox "said she had her life savings with Mr. Madoff, including life-insurance proceeds from after her husband died and payments from a legal settlement related to her husband's exposure to asbestos at work."
Plus Fox says she had to take some money out of her retirement account and paid taxes on it, "This is my money that I need now, and if he comes after me, I will be penniless." Fox was also used as an example by the NY Times when a judge decided that fake profits shouldn't be counted on by victims; her heart-tugging quote then, "My health has been a mess. I can manage, more or less, but if I have to go into a facility, what would I do? All my life savings, it all went into Madoff and it is all gone."