Thousands of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme victims will see some more relief as the Department of Justice begins the latest distribution of more than $469 million.
This week, the Madoff Victim Fund, which was established by the DOJ, began distributing $469.6 million in additional funds that were forfeited to the government in connection to Madoff’s scheme. The money will be distributed to more than 27,000 victims, bringing the total to approximately $2.4 billion.
The latest distribution marks the fourth in a series of payments from the Madoff Victim Fund as part of Madoff’s fraud, which totaled more than $4 billion. A total of $4.05 billion will ultimately be paid back to Madoff’s victims.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said assets recovered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office are also being separately paid through a different fund.
“Bernie Madoff committed the largest Ponzi scheme in history,” he said. “Today’s additional payment of more than $469 million by this Office and the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section represents the fourth in an on-going series of distributions that will leave victims with compensation for more than 65 percent of their losses.
“This extraordinary level of recovery represents this Office’s tireless commitment to compensating the victims who suffered as a result of Madoff’s heinous crimes.”
During the largest fraud in history, Madoff stole billions from clients, dating back to the 1970s. He pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies on March 12, 2009, and was sentenced to 150 years in prison in June that year. He was also ordered to pay $170,799,000 in restitution to his victims.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski added, “the upheaval and devastation wrought by Bernie Madoff’s massive fraud continue to reverberate across the United States and the globe.
“This fourth distribution of payments shows that the Department remains steadfast in its pursuit of proceeds of that fraud through civil forfeiture. Madoff’s victims, many of whom once believed they had lost everything, have now seen close to a 67 percent recovery of their loss amounts.”