The Justice Department announced last week that it started its ninth distribution of restitution funds for the victims of Bernie Madoff, CBS News reported.
Madoff, the onetime chairman of the NASDAQ, was arrested on December 11, 2008, and charged with defrauding investors out of $64 billion.
He pleaded guilty on March 12, 2009, to 11 federal charges including securities fraud, and admitted to creating the world’s largest Ponzi scheme from his wealth management company, enriching himself, members of his inner circle, and his family.
Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to pay his victims $170 billion in restitution.
In a December 11 press release, the Justice Department announced that in the latest distribution of the restitution judgment, nearly 25,000 of Madoff’s victims would receive $158.9 million, bringing the total recoveries to 91 percent of the money they lost in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Since the Madoff Victim Fund was established, it has distributed nine restitution payments totaling more than $4.22 billion to a total of 40,843 victims.
According to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams, Madoff’s victims were not just institutional or wealthy investors but also charities and pension funds, many of which invested with Madoff on behalf of those who worked “paycheck-to-paycheck” and relied on pensions for their retirements.
The Madoff Victim Fund, which was set up by the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the Criminal Division, is overseen by former SEC Chairman Richard Breeden, who was appointed by the Justice Department to serve as Special Master to assist in evaluating more than 68,000 remission petitions involving billions and computing each victim’s losses due to fraud.
Bernie Madoff died in 2021 while serving his prison term. He was 82 years old.