Madoff trustee seeks to release $1.2 billion to investors

A trustee recovering money for thousands of victims of Bernard Madoff's epic Ponzi scheme has asked a New York court to let him distribute another $1.2 billion.

Irving Picard asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on Wednesday to approve the allocation. A hearing is scheduled for May.

The distribution would raise the amount recovered and returned to investors to nearly $8.2 billion and leave more than 55 percent of allowable claims fully satisfied. The payouts to individual investors would range from $1,082 to $168 million, with an average payout of $855,000.

Picard has recovered or reached agreements to recover about $10.5 billion. He was appointed as trustee days after Madoff was arrested in December 2008.

Madoff is an ex-Nasdaq chairman. He pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

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