[JURIST] Judge Burton Lifland of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] approved the first settlement payments to victims of the $65 billion Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive] Ponzi scheme, sending payments of approximately $200,000 to 1,224 claimants on Tuesday. Lifland also authorized a fund [Bloomberg report] to hold $2.6 billion until various appeals are completed. Trustee Irving Picard [official website] has regained more than $7.6 billion from the Madoff estate. In May, Picard…

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