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2017-11-09 — click2houston.com

The U.S. government on Thursday announced that it would begin paying out $772.5 million to more than 24,000 victims of the Ponzi scheme.

The money comes out of the Madoff Victim Fund, an account the government put together four years ago to help people who were scammed by the notorious fraudster.

All told, federal authorities say they'll pay out $4 billion from the fund. The money was collected through seized assets and settlement agreements with people and companies connected to the case.''

[In parallel, Irving Picard] has distributed around $10 billion to victims so far -- money amassed largely through civil settlements.

The U.S. government took that tack, too. About $1.7 billion in its own victims fund came from JPMorgan Chase, which agreed three years ago to pay to settle allegations that it ignored red flags about Madoff's crimes while it was his banker.

The bank insisted that its employees did not knowingly assist in the crimes.

But federal authorities also funded their account through the forfeiture of civil assets. The agency seized around $2.2 billion from the estate of Madoff investor Jeffry Picower, who died in 2009.

Picower is said to have benefited the most from Madoff's scheme, though his wife has denied his involvement.

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