Irving Picard, the trustee representing the victims of Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme, reached a billion dollar settlement from the Tremont Group on Thursday. Reuters reports, "Thursday's cash settlement raises the sum that trustee Irving Picard said he has recovered for Madoff victims to $8.6 billion, or half the $17.3 billion lost by former customers of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC who filed claims." Once a court approves the settlement and the amount is taken out of escrow, Madoff's victims will be able to file up to $3 billion in claims related to Tremont, which nearly went out of business after losing more than half its assets in the 2009 fallout of the Madoff scandal.