Catalog of believers

Here is a story from today’s New York Post that names many of Bernard Madoff’s clients along with how much they lost. It seems that virtually 100 percent of his believers/followers/marks were Jews and Jewish organizations, and many of them believed in him so much that they had given 100 percent of their investment capital to him.

He’s the Grinch who stole … everything.

Accused mega-swindler Bernard Madoff yesterday skulked out of his Upper East Side penthouse and went into hiding as scores more charities, banks and individual investors revealed that they face financial ruin from his alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

“He’s an evil person. It’s morally disgraceful,” said Rep. Peter King (R-LI), who yesterday called for a congressional probe of the scam.

King said he recently attended several Christmas parties where guests included people who lost tens of millions of dollars in investments entrusted to Madoff, 70, who was busted by federal authorities last week.

One party guest pointed around a room, saying, “That guy lost $10 million, and that guy lost so many millions,” King recalled.

Madoff seemed maniacal about keeping his scam going to the end.

As recently as Thanksgiving, he was pushing pals to invest more money with him, telling them he could work wonders in the volatile market, a source told The Post.

Madoff’s alleged fraud has especially hurt charities linked to his own Jewish faith.

SAR Academy, a Jewish day school in The Bronx, is believed to have lost up to $4 million in endowment money placed with the firm.

The Chais Family Foundation, which gave more than $12 million annually to Jewish causes in Israel and Europe, has already shuttered its doors because of its losses.

Two Manhattan-based civil-liberties groups—the JEHT Foundation and The Rockit Fund—said they were set to close in January because of the fraud.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has lost millions in Madoff’s scam, The Wall Street Journal reports today.

Daily News owner and real-estate mogul Mort Zuckerman yesterday said his Mortimer B. Zuckerman Charitable Remainder Trust lost $30 million—10 percent of its total assets.

“That was still a big chunk of money that was intended to go to worthier causes than, shall we say, Mr. Madoff,” Zuckerman said on CNBC.

Sources said Morse Life, a West Palm Beach senior-living and -care facility that relies heavily on donations and endowments, is in peril of closing because of the scandal. Officials for the center and its related organization did not return calls seeking comment.

Carl Shapiro, a 95-year-old philanthropist and apparel company founder, had $545 million of his personal fortune invested with Madoff, in addition to $145 million from his family charity—making him the biggest individual loser known, today’s Journal reports.

“It is devastating to think that so many charities, institutions and individuals that had put their trust in Mr. Madoff have had their lives so negatively impacted,” said Shapiro, who had “a close personal relationship with Mr. Madoff for more than 50 years.”

Other victims include filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, Yeshiva University and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. The town of Fairfield, Conn., has lost a reported $42 million of its pension plan—15 percent of total assets—through Madoff investments.

Brad Friedman, one of several lawyers representing Madoff’s victims, said his client list has swelled to more than 100 people over the past few days. They’ve lost a total estimated $2 billion, he said.

“This morning, I was getting e-mails [from investors] probably every to 20 seconds,” Friedman said. He said the smallest amount lost by one of his clients appeared to be $200,000, while the largest individual amount exceeded $100 million.

“Most of them, shockingly, invested 100 percent with Madoff,” he said.

Madoff’s firm, Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC, yesterday was liquidated by the Securities Investor Protection Corp., a special government reserve fund that helps investors of failed brokerage firms.

It has the authority to provide up to $500,000 to each customer defrauded.

Madoff remains free on a $10 million bond, but by 2 p.m. today, he must come up with a total of four “fiscally responsible” people to co-sign his bond to stay out of jail. As of late yesterday, his wife and brother had already signed for him. He also must provide his duplex apartment as collateral.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 16, 2008 09:32 PM | Send

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