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The Justice Department announced Thursday that it returned an additional $695 million to investors who lost money in Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme – the largest in history.

This is the third installment of recovered money, bringing the total to approximately $2 billion, according to the Justice Department.

“These funds will be sent to over 27,000 victims across the globe, bringing their total recovery to 56.65 percent. This distribution represents the third in a series of payments that will eventually return over $4 billion to victims as compensation for losses they suffered from the collapse of the Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS),” a Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement.

The Madoff Victims Fund (MVF) tasked with the recovery of assets, has received over 65,000 requests for compensation from victims in 136 countries.

PHOTO: Financier Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan Federal court, March 12, 2009, in New York.
Financier Bernard Madoff arrives at Manhattan Federal court, March 12, 2009, in New York. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

“Bernie Madoff’s scheme devastated retirement and pension funds, charitable organizations, and thousands of individual investors spread across 49 States, the District of Columbia, and 121 other countries,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski.

“The payments announced today could not have happened without the prosecutors’ relentless pursuit of proceeds of Madoff’s fraud through civil forfeiture—and, as a result of their efforts and those of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, victims who would not have seen a dime in other compensation programs will now recover more than half of their losses.”

“Bernie Madoff committed history’s largest Ponzi scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. “Today’s payment of more than $690 million is this Office’s third installment in a series of distributions that represent our ongoing commitment to find relief for victims of Madoff’s heinous crimes.”

This is a developing story. Please refresh the page for updates.

Harry Cherry is a reporter for America First Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @RealHarryCherry.

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