Forbes included Jeffry Picower and his wife Barbara last year among those in its list of wealthy individuals and placed the couple's net worth at $1 billion. Today we hear that the couple is worth at least $7 billion due to huge profits collected from investing with Madoff, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Yet the Picowers were not on Forbes' list in 2008 or 2007, which showed that Jeffry Picower did not even become a billionaire until last year. Jeffry Picower made 950 percent returns on some years, and Barbara Picower recently reached a lawsuit settlement where she agreed to return $7.2 billion to the trustees affected by the Madoff-Ponzi scam.
Barbara Picower apparently still has enough money to continue funding her charitable foundations despite the settlement, but it is still not clear as to how much of Jeffrey Picower's money will go to the settlement. Many New York estate planning lawyers have also been left wondering what the Picowers real net worth may be. Jeffry Picower's will allotted $25 million to his daughter Gabrielle, $200 million to Barbara, and $10 million in a trust to April Freilich, his longtime assistant.
Jeffry Picower's attorney William Zabel said his client was worth up to $7 billion at the time of his death. Forbes, however, noted Picower's worth may actually be worth more, considering he had nearly $3 million in unrealized gains from investment accounts prior to his death. Determining the line between the fraudulent earnings from the Madoff hoax and legitimate profits has been difficult for the Picowers.
To learn more about cases like the Picower's, seek legal advice from an New York estate planning lawyer or visit the Related Resources for general information.