More money for Madoff victims

By James Langton | December 11, 2020 | Last updated on December 11, 2020
2 min read

The victims of preeminent Ponzi schemer, Bernie Madoff, are getting another US$488 million payout.

The Madoff Victim Fund, which was established by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), to return recovered funds to investors that lost money to the massive fraud carried out by Madoff and his firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, is undertaking its latest distribution.

The payout brings the total returned to investors so far by the DoJ fund to almost US$3.2 billion. It’s expected that the fund will eventually return over US$4 billion to Madoff’s victims.

Approximately US$2.2 billion was collected from the estate of a deceased Madoff investor, Jeffry Picower, and another US$1.7 billion was collected from JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the bank.

Alongside the DoJ fund, another US$5 billion is being paid back to investors through a fund administered by the trustee appointed by the industry contingency fund, the Securities Investor Protection Corp.

Almost 37,000 investors from around the world will participate in the latest DoJ payout, which it said will “bring their total recovery from all sources of compensation to 80.05% of their losses.”

“That is an extraordinary level of recovery for a Ponzi scheme,” said Audrey Strauss, acting Manhattan U.S. attorney, in a release.

“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,” she said.

In 2009, Madoff pled guilty to 11 felonies in connection with his operation of the world’s largest Ponzi scheme. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to forfeit US$170.8 billion.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.