Dead Madoff associate's will being targetted to pay off Ponzi scheme victims

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New York/Florida, Nov.11 (ANI): A trustee charged with reclaiming the estimated 21 billion dollars in losses suffered by investors in Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, has said that he will be eying the will of dead Florida businessman Jeffry Picower to be revealed today to pay off some of the victims of the scam.

Picower, an associate of Madoff, was found dead in his Palm Beach swimming pool last month.

His will is bound to set off a tug of war over his assets, estimated to be far in excess of a billion dollars.

In May, the trustee, Irving Picard, sued for the return of seven billion dollars.

The Times and CBS quoted him as saying that Picower and his wife, Barbara, withdrew over several decades from Madoff accounts.

The Picowers had denied any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme, claiming they had also been victimized by Madoff.

The Picowers' lawyers said the limit to the trustee's claim should be the 2.4 billion dollars the couple withdrew from their accounts during the six-year recovery period specified under New York State law.

In addition to bequests to his widow and adult daughter totalling 225 million dollars, the will specifies a 10 million dollar bequest to his longtime assistant, and a million each for the New York Public Library, the Harlem Children's Zone and the Nurse-Family Partnership. (ANI)

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