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Could you live on $2.5 million?

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Ruth Madoff, wife of convicted Ponzi scheme swindler Bernie Madoff, will be left with $2.5 million in cash under an asset-forfeiture agreement she and her husband reached with prosecutors.

Under the deal, approved by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin late Friday, Ruth Madoff will give up her claims to $80 million of the couple’s assets.

From Bloomberg News:

Bernard Madoff’s houses in Palm Beach, Florida, and Montauk on the east end of New York’s Long Island as well as his Manhattan apartment will be sold by U.S. marshals under a ruling by Denny Chin, the federal judge scheduled to sentence him on Monday. Madoff approved an agreement with prosecutors and he and his wife, Ruth, agreed to sell the properties to raise money to pay back victims of his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, the biggest in history. The orders don’t require Ruth Madoff to leave the couple’s apartment at 133 East 64th St. in Manhattan before the sale. Madoff will also sell Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen automobiles, boats and trailers by Chin’s order. Also to be sold are his $39,000 Steinway piano and $65,000 worth of silverware, now located in the Manhattan apartment.

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The $2.5 million that Ruth Madoff, 68, will keep could produce $75,000 a year in interest income if she just earns 3% on the money. That would be $6,250 a month to live on, before taxes.

But if she has unpaid legal fees, that could substantially reduce her remaining cash. And she still might be sued individually by angry Madoff investors.

Bernie Madoff, 71, could face up to 150 years in prison when sentenced on Monday.

-- Tom Petruno


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