$488M paid to victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme

(NY DAILY NEWS) – The Justice Department announced Thursday a $488 million payout to victims of Bernie Madoff’s historic Ponzi scheme, bringing the total recovery from losses to 80%.

The money will go to nearly 37,000 victims worldwide and is the sixth payment from the feds. The total recovery is nearly $3.2 billion.

Bernie Madoff exits federal court in Manhattan in 2009.
Bernie Madoff exits federal court in Manhattan in 2009. (David Karp/AP)

“That is an extraordinary level of recovery for a Ponzi scheme — but our work is not yet finished, and the office’s tireless commitment to compensating the victims who suffered as a result of Madoff’s heinous crimes continues,” acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

Madoff was sentenced in 2009 to 150 years in prison for his historic fraud. In June a judge denied Madoff’s request for compassionate release because he is dying.

The feds expect to pay victims a total of $4 billion through the Madoff Victim Fund. Roughly $2.2 billion was taken from the estate of deceased Madoff investor Jeffrey Picower, who was the largest beneficiary of the Ponzi scheme. The feds collected an additional $1.7 billion from JP Morgan Chase Bank for failing to report suspicious Madoff-related transactions, among other violations.

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