National Post (Latest Edition) - - FINANCIAL POST -

The U. S. Jus­tice Depart­ment started a long-de­layed dis­tri­bu­tion to vic­tims of Bernard Mad­off ’s Ponzi scheme, tap­ping a US$4-bil­lion fund cre­ated through set­tle­ments with some of the con man’s old­est cus­tomers and his bank, JPMor­gan Chase & Co. The Mad­off Vic­tim Fund will re­turn US$772.5 mil­lion to more than 24,000 vic­tims world­wide, the first in a se­ries of dis­tri­bu­tions. The pay­outs will even­tu­ally be­come the largest of for­feited funds in the his­tory of the Jus­tice Depart­ment’s vic­tim-com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram, the agency said. Al­most nine years af­ter Mad­off’s ar­rest, in­vestors are still try­ing to re­cover money from a fraud that erased US$17.5 bil­lion in prin­ci­pal and more than US$40 bil­lion in fake prof­its that vic­tims be­lieved was held in their ac­counts. Some have re­cov­ered more than US$10 bil­lion from an­other fund over­seen in bank­ruptcy court through a separate process. The ad­min­is­tra­tor of the fund, Richard Bree­den, said in June that the Jus­tice Depart­ment had ap­proved more than 35,000 pe­ti­tions claim­ing to­tal losses of more than US$6.5 bil­lion.

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