The Justice Department has announced a $488 million payout to victims of Bernie Madoff's historic Ponzi scheme, bringing the total recovery from losses to 80%.

The money will go to nearly 37,000 victims worldwide and is the sixth payment from the U.S. government. The total recovery is nearly $3.2 billion.

"That is an extraordinary level of recovery for a Ponzi scheme — but our work is not yet finished, and the office's tireless commitment to compensating the victims who suffered as a result of Madoff's heinous crimes continues," acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.

In 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his historic fraud. In June, a judge denied Madoff's request for compassionate release because he is dying.

The government expects to pay victims a total of $4 billion through the Madoff Victim Fund. Roughly $2.2 billion was taken from the estate of deceased Madoff investor Jeffrey Picower, who was the largest beneficiary of the Ponzi scheme.

The government collected an additional $1.7 billion from JPMorgan Chase Bank for failing to report suspicious Madoff-related transactions, among other violations.

New York Daily News