Ruth Madoff gave up everything in exchange for a new lease on life and $2.5 million. Now a representative of her husband's victims would like that $2.5 million back. Along with another $42.5 million.

Irving Picard, the dashing trustee representing Madoff victims, has filed a $45 million lawsuit against Ruth. His basic argument: whether she knew it or not, she lived a lavish life with stolen money, and now the victims would like that money back, thanks.

Picard told The Post, "This isn't limited to what she has today. If she has earnings or gets money, from whatever sources, why shouldn't the victims benefit?" Identified in Picard's suit is more than $3 million in personal spending that Ruth rang up on an American Express card.

This is quite a populist argument! Unfortunately Ruth forfeited all her fancy stuff, leaving her with just enough for a 1BR fixer-upper and a trip to California Pizza Kitchen. She probably has not even $2 million to her name right now! So we don't think you victims will see the $45 mil, but still, feel free to approach Ruth on the street and ask her for change.
[NYP. Pic: AP]