WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that after nearly 14 years, the victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme will soon receive another $372 million to help cover their losses.
The payout from the government's Madoff Victim Fund will go to 27,219 victims, including more than 400 who have not received any payments.
In an interview, Richard Breeden, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman who oversees the government fund, said, "People getting those checks are not hedge funds. They are real people, and it helps families around the world."
An additional $14.54 billion has been recovered for customers of the former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC by Irving Picard, the trustee liquidating the firm in bankruptcy, increasing the total payout to some $18.6 billion.
Estimated as high as $64.8 billion, Madoff's fraud was not discovered until he confessed to his sons in December 2008. After pleading guilty to 11 criminal counts, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison and died behind bars at the age of 82 in April 2021.
After this week's payout, the eighth so far, victims would have recouped an average 88.35 percent of their losses.
However, another 2,265 victims with valid claims have not received any money from the fund.
In order to handle settlements between the Justice Department and Madoff's former bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and between Picard and the estate of former Madoff investor Jeffry Picower, the fund was created in 2013 and originally held $4.05 billion.
Breeden stressed that some $200 million remains available, and a ninth payout, to be held next year, will "almost certainly be the last," as reported by Reuters.