Another $378.5 million is on its way to victims of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. The Justice Department said Monday that this will be the fifth round of payments, from a government fund of forfeited money, that altogether will total more than $4 billion, NBC reports. More than 38,000 victims have received some of the $2.7 billion paid so far. The government said the fund has received more than 65,000 petitions for payment. "This office continues its efforts to seek justice for victims of history's largest Ponzi scheme," said the US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Madoff has asked to be released from prison, which prosecutors have opposed. He's serving a 150-year term at a federal medical center in North Carolina. A motion filed by his lawyers also says he's suffering from terminal kidney failure, and he's now citing fear about the coronavirus. On Monday, a Senate Republican urged the attorney general to not release Madoff early, per Fox News. "When making decisions about who to release early," Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana wrote, "it is imperative the Federal Bureau of Prisons strongly considers the financial, emotional and physical devastation that some inmates have caused by their crimes." (Madoff has asked President Trump for clemency.)