The Justice Department has doled out more than $370 million to victims of infamous Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff — bringing the total compensation paid out to former clients to more than $4 billion.
“The criminal division is proud to continue providing compensation to victims through the largest remission process the department has overseen,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said in a statement Wednesday.
“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,” Polite said.
Madoff, who died in federal prison last year at 82, was jailed in 2009 for pulling off one of the most notorious Ponzi schemes in history, bilking tens of thousands of investors out of billions of dollars through Bernie L. Madoff Investment Securities.
The scam, which started in 1960, spanned 125 countries and 49 states, with more than 40,000 victims, including Madoff’s own friends and relatives, federal prosecutors said.
Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 counts of varying federal financial crimes.
The DOJ has been liquidating Madoff assets and distributing the proceeds to the victims, with about 88% of the money now returned to his duped clients. The feds have made more than a half dozen payments to help victims recoup their losses.
“The damage perpetrated by Bernard Madoff in history’s largest Ponzi scheme reverberates around the world, devastating thousands of victims,” Luis Quesada, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said in a statement Wednesday.