Saturday, October 31, 2020

Madoff Ponzi scheme victims to get another $378.5 million payout

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Victims of Bernard Madoff will receive an additional $378.5 million in funds forfeited to the government in connection with his decades-long Ponzi scheme, the Justice Department said.

This distribution is the fifth in a series of payouts that will eventually return more than $4 billion to victims as compensation for losses they suffered from the collapse of the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, according to the Justice Department.

More than $2.7 billion has been distributed to almost 38,000 victims worldwide.

The Madoff Victim Fund, a government entity created to help people who lost money when Madoff’s long-running Ponzi scheme unraveled, has received more than 65,000 petitions from Madoff clients in 136 countries, the Justice Department said.

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“It is entirely fitting during this Crime Victims’ Rights Week that the department is able to make the latest distribution from the Madoff Victims Fund,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York said, “This office continues its efforts to seek justice for victims of history’s largest Ponzi scheme.”

Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to running a massive investment fraud scheme that cheated his clients out of billions of dollars. He was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison.

In imposing the maximum sentence, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin called Madoff’s scheme “extraordinarily evil.”

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Madoff said in a court filing in February that he is dying and asked for an early release.

Last month, prosecutors said he should not be released early, even if kidney disease kills him within months. They cited the scope and magnitude of his Ponzi scheme as well as numerous letters from victims.

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