Vern Buchanan is (sort of) happy Bernie Madoff victims are finally getting paid


An initial distribution of money is now beginning for more than 24,000 victims of Bernie Madoff‘, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Madoff had operated the most massive Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

While this new development makes Congressman Vern Buchanan happy, the Longboat Key Republican still believes payments were unnecessarily delayed. Buchanan has often criticized the slow pace of compensation going to Madoff’s victims.

“I’m pleased the government is finally beginning to compensate the victims but it should have happened much sooner,” Buchanan said Friday. “These people were cheated out of their life savings and have been waiting years to get some of their money back. It’s long overdue.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the FBI made the announcement that the Madoff Victim Fund established by the DOJ has begun its initial distribution of $772.5 million in funds forfeited to the U.S. Government in connection with the Madoff fraud scheme.

Funds will be sent to more than 24,000 victims worldwide, the first in a series of payments from the Madoff Victim Fund that returns to victims more than $4 billion in assets recovered as compensation for losses suffered by the collapse of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.

Another $5 billion in assets recovered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office is being separately paid to Madoff victims through the BLMIS Customer Fund administered by the Securities Investor Protection Act Trustee.

Florida is home to the second-largest pool of Madoff’s victims, including 63 in Sarasota County and a handful in both Manatee and Charlotte counties. One in five victims were from Florida, mainly concentrated in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Only Madoff’s home state of New York had more victims, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Madoff surrendered in Dec. 2008. In 2009, the former Nasdaq chair was sentenced to 150 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges, where he admitted to using funds from some investors to pay others — all while living a life of luxury.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


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