Madoff Ponzi scheme victims repaid additional $378M: Justice Department

DOJ will use money to send payments to 26,000 victims

The Justice Department announced Monday an additional $378 million will be distributed to victims of Bernie Madoff, the convicted mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history.

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The DOJ kicked off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week with the Monday morning announcement of the additional funds, which have since totaled more than $2.7 billion provided to the nearly 38,000 victims globally.

Bernard Madoff (C) walks out from Federal Court after a bail hearing in Manhattan January 5, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

The most recent distribution marks the fifth so far and accounts for just shy of 74 percent of the total reimbursement owed. Payments from the $378 million will be sent to more than 26,000 victims worldwide.

"[O]ur work is not yet finished," said Southern District of New York's U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman in a statement, "and this extraordinary level of recovery represents this Office’s ongoing and tireless commitment to compensating the victims who suffered as a result of Madoff’s heinous crimes.”

BERNIE MADOFF CUSTOMER PAYOUT NEARS $14 BILLION AS DYING SWINDLER SEEKS FREEDOM

Madoff, 81, pleaded guilty in March 2009 to scamming thousands of more than $64 billion that stemmed from investments of $17.5 billion. He was sentenced in June of that year and is currently serving the 150-year sentence at a federal medical center in Butner, North Carolina.

His release date is identified on the Bureau of Prisons website as Nov. 14, 2139, but Madoff has made several pleas for early release or alternative forms of incarceration.

BERNIE MADOFF TERMINALLY ILL, SEEKS EARLY PRISON RELEASE

In February, Madoff, through his attorney, filed a “Motion for Compassionate Release" asking to be let out early because he is suffering from terminal kidney failure. Federal prosecutors have argued he should not be let off.

Bernard L. Madoff, chairman of Madoff Investment Securities is seen on his Manhattan trading floor in this photo taken Dec. 30, 1999 in New York. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Ruby Washington) 

Madoff had demonstrated “a wholesale lack of understanding of the seriousness of his crimes and a lack of compassion for his victims, underscoring that he is undeserving of compassionate release himself,” prosecutors said.

DOJ OPPOSES MADOFF SENTENCE REDUCTION FOR 'ONE OF HISTORY'S WORST FRAUDSTERS'

Madoff again requested to be released last month, citing concerns for his health amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“The federal prison system has consistently shown an inability to respond to major crises,” Madoff attorney Brandon Sample told The Associated Press. “My concerns are even more amplified for prisoners at federal medical centers and those who are aged.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.