The Justice Department has begun giving out another $695.4 million in restitution to clients of disgraced money manager Bernie Madoff.
It is the third dispensation of funds forfeited to the government by Madoff and others involved in the ponzi scheme, bringing the total so far to almost $2 billion toward a final goal of over $4 billion to 27,000 victims.
Some of Madoff's clients in the media space were Closer star Kyra Sedgwick and her husband actor Kevin Bacon and CNN talk show host Larry King.
“While today’s distribution of funds is indeed significant in scope, we understand no amount of money could ever restore the damage done by Madoff as a result of his selfish behavior and unforgivable financial crimes,” said FBI assistant director in charge William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI New York Field Office in a statement. “To all of his many victims and their families, we realize this gesture may not provide the consolation necessary to remove the pain and suffering you have been brought to bear, but we are hopeful it provides some sense of relief, and we remain committed to achieve justice for all victims of inexcusable financial crimes.”
In March 2009, Madoff pled guilty to 11 felonies and was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
The independent Madoff Recovery Initiative the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) trustee also seeking restitution for victims--estimates that Madoff made off with approximately $17.5 billion in principal from his clients.
While Justice is using the ill-gotten gains of the perpetrators to reimburse victims, the institute is unwinding the ponzi trail to recover the money clients got that had been stolen from other clients. In ponzi schemes, money from clients in the broad base of the pyramid is used to provide fake gains to the relative few at the top.