Madoff victims set to obtain $772 million payout

Bernie Madoff’s victims are getting extra of their a reimbursement.

The U.S. authorities on Thursday introduced that it will start paying out $772.5 million to greater than 24,000 victims of the Ponzi scheme.

The cash comes out of the Madoff Victim Fund, an account the federal government put collectively 4 years in the past to assist individuals who have been scammed by the infamous fraudster.

All advised, federal authorities say they will pay out $four billion from the fund. The cash was collected by way of seized belongings and settlement agreements with folks and firms linked to the case.

“Now we have recovered billions of from third events — not Mr. Madoff — and at the moment are returning that cash to tens of 1000’s of victims,” stated Rod Rosenstein, the deputy lawyer normal. “That is the biggest restoration of forfeited property in historical past.”

Madoff stole an estimated $20 billion from traders who thought he was working a official Wall Road agency. He pleaded responsible in 2009 and was sentenced to 150 years in jail.

The federal government started recovering cash because it pursued authorized motion towards Madoff, his conspirators and others related to the case.

However there’s one other effort to repay Madoff’s victims.

Related: JPMorgan’s $2.6 billion Madoff reckoning

When traders filed a category motion lawsuit towards Madoff, a court docket appointed the lawyer Irving Picard to assist them get their a reimbursement.

He has distributed around $10 billion to victims so far — cash amassed largely by way of civil settlements.

The U.S. authorities took that tack, too. About $1.7 billion in its personal victims fund got here from JPMorgan Chase (JPM), which agreed three years in the past to pay to settle allegations that it ignored red flags about Madoff’s crimes whereas it was his banker.

The financial institution insisted that its staff didn’t knowingly help within the crimes.

However federal authorities additionally funded their account by way of the forfeiture of civil belongings. The company seized round $2.2 billion from the property of Madoff investor Jeffry Picower, who died in 2009.

Picower is said to have benefited the most from Madoff’s scheme, although his spouse has denied his involvement.

The U.S. collected extra funds by way of forfeiture actions towards Madoff, his co-conspirators and sure Madoff traders, based on officers.

The federal government’s asset forfeiture program has been the subject of controversy over the years. It permits the federal authorities to work with state and native officers to grab money and different belongings from suspects earlier than they’ve been convicted of a criminal offense.

Rosenstein, the deputy lawyer, defended using this system within the Madoff case in a Wall Road Journal op-ed on Thursday.

“Not everybody who possesses unlawful proceeds can or ought to be criminally prosecuted,” Rosenstein wrote. “Many criminals switch ill-gotten features to kin or mates, and others use couriers to move money. In such circumstances, civil forfeiture allows the federal government to recuperate property when prosecuting the particular person caught holding it might not be applicable or possible.”

–CNNMoney’s Chris Isidore and Aaron Smith contributed to this story.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed November 9, 2017: four:55 PM ET

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