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New Payoff To Thousands Of Victims Of Madoff Ponzi Scheme Totals $695 Million

Bernie Madoff in 2009.
Bernie Madoff in 2009. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

Thousands of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme victims will soon see some relief, as the Department of Justice begins the latest distribution of nearly $700 million.

This week, the Madoff Victim Fund, which was established by the DOJ, began distributing $695.4 million in funds that were forfeited to the government in connection to Madoff’s scheme. The money will be distributed to more than 27,000 of Madoff’s victims, many of whom call the area home.

The latest distribution marks the third in a series of payments from the Madoff Victim Fund as part of Madoff’s fraud, which totaled more than $4 billion.

The two prior distributions from the fund have returned nearly $1.3 billion to victims, and the third will increase the total to nearly $2 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.

“While today’s distribution of funds is indeed significant in scope, we understand no amount of money could ever restore the damage done by Madoff as a result of his selfish behavior and unforgivable financial crimes,” FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney Jr., said.

“To all of his many victims and their families, we realize this gesture may not provide the consolation necessary to remove the pain and suffering you have been brought to bear, but we are hopeful it provides some sense of relief, and we remain committed to achieving justice for all victims of inexcusable financial 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.

“Bernie Madoff committed history’s largest Ponzi scheme,” Berman said. “This Office prosecuted Madoff and others who helped perpetuate his fraud, and we assisted in recovering billions of dollars in proceeds from the fraud.

"Today’s payment of more than $690 million is this Office’s third installment in a series of distributions that represent our ongoing commitment to find relief for victims of Madoff’s heinous crimes.”

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