NEW YORK (
) -- Jeffry Picower's widow, Barbara Picower, has agreed to pay $7.2 billion to resolve claims that her husband made money off Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
Picower's estate will pay $5 billion to Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee liquidating Madoff's failed investment firm, as well as $2.2 billion to U.S. authorities.
The payments will resolve claims that Picower, who died in October, 2009 from a heart attack, profited from the fraud, according to the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
His widow has denied all allegations that he knew Madoff was committing fraud.
"I am absolutely confident that my husband Jeffry was in no way complicit in Madoff's fraud and want to underscore the fact that neither the trustee nor the U.S. attorney has charged him with any illegal conduct," she said.
Picard has already recovered about $2.6 billion for investors since he filed hundreds of suits against others alleged to have profited from Madoff's fraud.
Bharara said the $2.6 billion already recovered combined with Picower's $7.2 billion settlement is almost half of the $20 billion lost to Madoff's scheme.
-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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