Ruth Madoff, born Alpern, is the widow of Bernie Madoff, the financier who became famous as the architect of one of the biggest frauds in the history of Wall Street. We told his story here, as preparation for watching the Netflix documentary Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street. And one of the biggest open points that remain after watching it is precisely about his wife: how is she doing today, where is she now, and what’s her net worth? This article will provide all answers available.
You can watch the official trailer for Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street here on Youtube.
Ruth Madoff today: where is she now & what’s her net worth?
When Bernie Madoff was arrested in December 2008 as the mastermind of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, the Madoff family began a slow descent into hell. People were throwing their anger against all family members, who became the symbol of the greed that led to the 2008 financial crisis. Although his wife Ruth and his sons Mark and Andrew were never involved in his scam, they suffered the consequences of it in terms of revenge from society.
Mark and Andrew immediately distanced themselves from their father: after all, they were the ones turning him with the lawyers and the SEC. However, that didn’t spare them from the hatred of the media and the part of society that was the victim of the financial crisis. For years they have been the target of all forms of public anger, despite they’ve immediately cut every connection with their father. They even tried to convince their mother Ruth to do the same, but for her, it was certainly more complicated: Ruth Alpern met Bernie Madoff when she was 13, and the two have been together for their whole life, sharing also the work environment.
Ruth Madoff never divorced her husband. She silently accepted all the consequences of his fraud, including the hatred she received even from her own family (when Mark committed suicide in 2010, his widow Stephanie didn’t even let Ruth join the funeral). After Bernie was sentenced to 150 years in prison and the restitution of 170$ billion, the prosecutors went after the assets owned by Bernie and Ruth, intending to use them to compensate the victims. That included also Ruth’s assets (cash, securities, money in her bank accounts, and the real estate properties she co-owned with Bernie), which in 2009 were worth about 70$ million.
In 2009, Ruth’s lawyers reached a preliminary agreement with the prosecutors: she was allowed to keep 2.5$ million and give up all the rest. But that didn’t include any protection from the possibility that, in the future, the trustee appointed by the court could claim more from her.
In 2019 she reached a new agreement: she would pay about 600$ million and keep the rest, with the promise to surrender any asset after her death. She was also sued by Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee, accusing her to live a wealthy life out of the profits coming from the fraud.
Taking all into account, Ruth Madoff’s net worth today should be about 1$-1.5$ million.
After the apartments she owned with Bernie were liquidated, she lived with her sister for a couple of years, then she moved into one of the apartments owned by her son Andrew. After Andrew died of cancer in 2014, she lived in a smaller apartment on her own. In 2020 she started living with Susan Elkin, Mark Madoff’s first wife, in a rich property in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.