Madoff Victim Fund distributes over $4 billion to 40,000 victims

Rick Steves

The Madoff Victim Fund (MVF) began its eighth distribution of approximately $372 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. government in connection with the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) fraud scheme.

Payments will be sent to 27,219 victims across the globe, bringing their total recovery to 88.35%. The total amount distributed now exceeds $4 billion to more than 40,000 victims as compensation for losses they suffered from the collapse of BLMIS.

On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies, admitting that he had turned his wealth management business into the world’s largest Ponzi scheme, benefitting himself, his family, and select members of his inner circle.

“Historic work seeking justice for the victims of Madoff’s heinous crimes”

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said: “The Criminal Division is proud to continue providing compensation to victims through the largest remission process the Department has overseen. The billions distributed worldwide is a testament to the department’s sustained efforts to ensure justice for the victims of Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud.”

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York, commented: “This Office continues its historic work seeking justice for the victims of Madoff’s heinous crimes. Today’s additional payments of $372 million by this Office and the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section represents the eighth in a series of distributions that will leave victims with compensation for more than 88 percent of their losses—a truly remarkable result. But our work is not fully complete, and this Office’s tireless commitment to compensating the victims who suffered as a result of Madoff’s crimes continues.”

Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, added: “The damage perpetrated by Bernard Madoff in history’s largest Ponzi scheme reverberates around the world, devastating thousands of victims. The funds distributed today are approximately $372 million, alongside the funds distributed previously now totaling over $4 billion, showing our unwavering commitment to bringing justice to the victims of Madoff’s greedy crimes.”

Madoff was sentenced to serve 150 years in prison for running the largest fraudulent scheme in history. In April 2021, he died in prison at age 82, from natural causes related to his failing health. He suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions.

Of the over $4 billion that has been made available to victims, approximately $2.2 billion was collected as part of the civil forfeiture recovery from the estate of deceased Madoff investor Jeffry Picower. An additional $1.7 billion was collected as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. and civilly forfeited in a parallel action. The remaining funds were collected through a civil forfeiture action against investor Carl Shapiro and his family, and from civil and criminal forfeiture actions against Bernard L. Madoff, Peter B. Madoff, and their co-conspirators.

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