Even if Ruth Madoff did not know about her husband’s massive Ponzi scheme, she “lived a life of splendor” and received tens of millions of dollars as a result of the fraud, alleges a suit filed Wednesday by the trustee charged with liquidating Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

The action brought by Irving H. Picard, a partner at Baker & Hostetler, in Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court seeks to recover nearly $45 million in funds transferred to Ms. Madoff by Mr. Madoff’s firm in the six years preceding its liquidation. While the Madoffs forfeited their assets in the wake of Mr. Madoff’s arrest last year, a forfeiture order entered last month, shortly before Mr. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, left Ms. Madoff with $2.5 million. But the order permits Picard to recover funds, according to the complaint.

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