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Madoff victim fund stands at 140m as the hunt goes on

<div>THE SECURITIES Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) said yesterday a total of $231m (&pound;140m) has so far been committed to pay for claims from victims of Bernard Madoff&rsquo;s fraud, with a further $2.74bn &ldquo;authorised for potential future recovery.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />The group, which was established by the US Congress in 1970 to help swindled investors, said that the amount exceeded its previous 11 largest liquidations.<br /><br />SIPC and Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee winding down Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, said it had accepted 543 claims for payout so far.<br /><br />The amount to be paid averages $425,414 per claim. Each customer can receive up to a maximum of $500,000 under the law.<br /><br />But how much of the $2.74bn investors will ever see will depend on how much the trustee can recover from his global search for assets tied to the Madoff fraud.</div>
<div><br />A Manhattan federal judge sentenced Madoff to a prison term of 150 years on Monday at an emotional hearing where defrauded investors testified to their financial ruin.<br /><br />The once-respected financier was arrested in December and pleaded guilty in March to a decades-long fraud that US prosecutors said drew in as much as $65bn.</div>