First Checks Sent to Victims of Bernard Madoff's Alleged Financial Fraud

A financial organization has sent out the first checks to reimburse victims of the Bernard Madoff scandal.

Stephen Harbeck of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. tells The Associated Press that the checks were sent to two investors on Friday.

The Securities Investor Protection Corp. is an industry-funded organization that steps in when a brokerage firm fails.

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It has been helping process hundreds of claims by investors hoping to recoup losses.

Investors are eligible for up to $500,000 from the organization, and have until July to file claims. Harbeck would not disclose how much money was sent to the first two investors to receive checks.

On Friday, prosecutors filed a motion indicating that Madoff may be ready to plead guilty to charges that he carried out one of the biggest financial frauds in history.

The timing of a possible plea deal is unclear, and no court hearings were immediately scheduled. Prosecutors have a deadline of next Friday to bring an indictment against Madoff under the speedy-trials law.