Bernie Madoff was arrested 15 years ago for the largest Ponzi scheme in history affecting 25,000 victims. Those victims will now receive $158.9 million giving them at least 91$ of their lost money.

The Department of Justice announced the additional amount on December 11. To date the Madoff Victim Fund has made nine payments amounting to $4.22 billion to 40,843 victims for losses they suffered.

United States Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York said that the financial toll on those who trusted their money with Madoff had been devastating.

“Among Madoff’s many victims were not only wealthy and institutional investors but charities and pension funds alike – some of which invested money with Madoff on behalf of individuals working paycheck-to-paycheck who were relying on their pension accounts for their retirements.”

Madoff who was at one time chairman of NASDAQ was arrested on Dec 11, 2008, for defrauding investors of $64 billion.

Madoff funds

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. The DOJ says the fund has exceeded expectations in terms of helping the victims recover their money.

Madoff died in prison in 2021 from health issues. He was 82 years old.

Meanwhile, lawsuits related to the opioid crisis has also resulted in billions coming into the United States. The settlement money comes from legal battles in the United States as well as globally. Companies such as Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens have settled amounts in billions for their role in fueling the opioid crisis by downplaying the risk of prescription drugs in the past.

The amount is estimated to be about $50 billion and will be distributed over two decades to states and local governments. Payment will be made to schools, public health departments and local governments. The state of South Carolina itself awarded more than $7 million to 21 grantees.

States are required to spend 85% of their settlement funds on opioid remediation, with 70% of that allocated to future remediation. Remediation includes funding harm reduction and treatment options.

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