Peter Madoff, brother of Bernard, will plead guilty on Friday to falsifying records in perpetuation of the Ponzi scheme that landed Bernie a 150 year prison sentence, and forfeit personal holdings of $143.1 billion.
Yes, we said $143.1 billion. We didn’t think that number could be correct when we saw it in news reports, but a U.S. Southern District spokeswoman read to us from the letter prosecutors filed with the court:
“Peter Madoff agrees to the criminal forfeiture of approximately $143.1 billion, including all of his real and personal property.”
At that, Mr. Madoff would have twice the net worth—at least for another day or so—as Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who Bloomberg ranks as the world’s richest man.
UPDATE: The Wall Street Journaloffers this explanation:
As part of his plea, Peter Madoff has agreed to forfeit about $143.1 billion, a figure that represents essentially all the money that went into and out of the firm during the time prosecutors believe he was culpable. The figure exceeds his assets, all of which he will have to give up to the government.
Which makes a lot more sense, and should let Mr. Slim rest easy.