Thousands of victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme are due to get checks totaling $695 million from a U.S. Justice Department fund created through settlements with some of the con man’s oldest customers and his bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Bloomberg News reports that the payout, to 27,000 victims worldwide, is the third distribution from the $4 billion fund, the department said Thursday in a statement. The government-led recovery is separate from a $13.3 billion fund overseen by a trustee who’s been liquidating Madoff’s firm in court for the past 10 years to compensate people he duped.
Madoff’s investors lost a total of $19 billion in principal and more than $40 billion in fake profit when his securities firm collapsed in December 2008. Federal prosecutors called it the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff, 80, was sentenced to 150 years behind bars after pleading guilty in 2009.
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