Monday, December 15, 2008

Madoff's Victims

The impact of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme on the Jewish community is going to be huge. Collecting from a bunch of different sources... (Bloomberg's link has some of the numbers for the hedge funds who were invested with Madoff - insane.) And the New York Times has a piece from Palm Beach which is just sad.
  • Two charities have shut their doors:
    The Robert I. Lappin Foundation in Salem, Mass., announced Dec. 12 that it would close after losing $8 million -- all of its money -- through investments with Madoff. And the Chais Family Foundation, which gives out some $12.5 million each year to Jewish causes in Israel, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, announced Dec. 14 that it had closed after losing all of its money through investments with Madoff.
  • Yeshiva University has lost "tens of millions, if not more", which it had invested with Madoff - who was the Chairman at Sy Syms School of Business. Rumor has it that it's around $150 million, on top of the $400 million they'd announced they'd lost recently due to the market.
  • Lots of individual Jews around the country were invested with him:
    The investor was close to a number of prominent Jewish donors, both on Wall Street and elsewhere. The Wall Street Journal reported that members of the Boca Rio Golf Club in Boca Raton and the Palm Beach Country Club in Palm Beach were heavily invested with Madoff's firm. Both clubs are heavily Jewish.
  • During golf-course and cocktail-party banter, Mr. Madoff's name frequently surfaced as a money manager who could consistently deliver high returns. Older, Jewish investors called Mr. Madoff " 'the Jewish bond,' " says Ken Phillips, head of a Boulder, Colo., investment firm. "It paid 8% to 12%, every year, no matter what."
  • Merkin, who last week told investors in his hedge fund, Ascot Partners, that all of their money had been defrauded by Madoff, is of particular interest to the Jewish community. He has philanthropic ties to a number of Jewish organizations and institutions, serving as an investment adviser for many of them, including Y.U. Among other causes that he is said to be connected to are the SAR Academy -- a Jewish day school in the Bronx -- as well as State of Israel Bonds, The Jewish Campus Life Fund, Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center, The Ramaz School, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and the Fifth Avenue Synagogue.
  • North Shore - LIJ Health System lost $5 million.
  • There is no evidence that either Mr. Shapiro, who is 95 and joined the club in 1974, or his son-in-law, Mr. Jaffe, who is 64 and joined in 1992, knew of the fraud. Both men, who give millions every year to countless charities, are also said to have been duped of hundreds of millions of their own money, according to friends of their families.