Madoff Victims Get Some Relief

US Department of JusticeThe US Department of Justice announced the latest round of payments for his victims were starting.

“The Department of Justice today announced that on April 12, the Madoff Victim Fund (MVF) began its second distribution of $504 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. Government in connection with the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) fraud scheme, bringing the total distributed to over $1.2 billion.” The US DOJ said in a statement. “These funds will be sent to over 21,000 victims across the globe. This distribution represents the second in a series of payments that will eventually return over $4 billion to victims as compensation for losses they suffered from the collapse of the BLMIS.  The MVF has received over 65,000 petitions from victims in 136 countries.”

“In one of the most notorious and unconscionable financial crimes in history, Bernie Madoff robbed tens of thousands of individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and others, while funding a lavish personal lifestyle,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “Through the use of asset forfeiture, the Department of Justice has recovered over $4 billion of Mr. Madoff’s fraud, and we continue to work to compensate those he defrauded.  Last June, the Department approved more than 39,000 petitions for compensation.  Today, during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Department returns more than a half-billion dollars to nearly 22,000 law-abiding people and organizations. We cannot undo the damage that Bernie Madoff has done, but today’s distribution will provide significant relief to many of the victims of one of the worst frauds of all time.”

“Bernie Madoff committed history’s largest Ponzi scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Berman.  “This Office prosecuted Madoff himself, and others who helped perpetrate his fraud, and continues to vigorously pursue money recoveries for his victims.  Today’s payment of more than $500 million is this Office’s second installment in a series of distributions that represent our ongoing commitment to find relief for victims of Madoff’s heinous crimes.”

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is not only the biggest in history, but it dwarfs all others; it totals more than $50 billion.

Before the scandal, Madoff was a giant on Wall Street; innovative technology first used by his investment firm, Madoff Investment Securities LLC (limited liability corporation), grew into what is now the NASDAQ.

But that all came crashing down as an investment fund which catered to the well off and celebrities was found to be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme, where trading accounts were created out of whole cloth and withdrawals were paid by new investors.

Among the celebrities who were swindled, those included: Kevin Bacon and his wife Kyra Sedgewick, Steven Spielberg, Elie Wiesel, and former Dodger great Sandy Koufax.

Madoff didn’t only swindle celebrities, in other cases, it was charities swindled including: The JEHT Foundation, Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of the Imagination (which shut down as a result), and Chais Family Foundation, a charity which gives to Jewish causes, and also had to shut down.