Victims of Madoff’s ponzi scheme may get less than what they signed up for, literally. One victim in particular is making sure she gets what she paid for.
Helen Davis Chaitman, an attorney from New Jersey who also lost her retirement savings to Madoff, came away from a series of meetings with about 350 Bernard Madoff victims in South Florida this week fighting mad. More than 2,000 Floridians were investors.
Chaitman met with Madoff’s South Floridian investors to talk about the Securities Investor Protection Corp. or SIPC, a privately funded corporation that insures brokerage accounts up to $500,000.
SIPC has taken the position that investors won’t be reimbursed based on what their accounts were worth as of the last statement before Madoff’s Dec. 2008 arrest. Unfortunately for his long-term investors, the “net investment” payouts would likely be far smaller than one based on the final statement.
The problem here is, the “net investment” payouts would be the first time in 40 years that accounts are not liquidated based on their final values, according to Chaitman. And she claims this is not what is specified by the law governing SIPC.
“If they had told us before we made the investment, we wouldn’t have a problem with it,” she said. “I plan to get SIPC to abide by the law.”
Chaitman also testified before Congress about the Madoff scam and its impact on investors. She said she will continue working with lawmakers to push for full compensation for victims of the ponzi scheme.