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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Those words take on dramatic resonance since the public unraveling of investment manager Bernard L. Madoff’s "Ponzi scheme." Victims including charities and bold-faced names leaving some with nothing. On June 29, 2009 Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
After the prominent Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff was arrested in December 2008, investors around the world scrambled to assess potential losses from the multi-billion dollar scam.
New Yorker Barbara Flood is one of an untold number of investors who’ve lost money. Flood looks at her account statement. "I don't call up every day and say to the accountant, 'What's happening?' I just put it in their hands, and if there's a problem, they're gonna call me, you know. That's why it was such a stunning shock. 'Cause I had no idea."
Andrew Cohen – A former trader who worked for Madoff from 1991 – 2000 remembers Madoff as a man who cared about his employees. Cohen, a personal trainer and yoga instructor, says he was shocked to learn he’d lost almost his entire net worth from his investments.
Joan Sinkin, a retired physical therapist and her husband Arnold, a carpet salesman from Boynton, Beach Fl. lost their life savings from Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme. Both are in their mid 70’s and Arnold is currently fighting cancer. The Sinkins may have to sell their home in New York in order to survive. Their grand-children’s college fund was also invested with Madoff.
Joyce Greenberg – A former stock broker from Houston met Madoff in 1987. Greenberg believes she had millions invested with Madoff. Six of her relatives also had investments. Greenberg’s daughter called in tears to say the family had lost money. When asked why she appeared so calm, Greenberg said she’s still in shock.
The DreamWorks CEO has suffered undisclosed millions in losses through his association with money manager Gerald Breslauer, who in turn invested with Madoff, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The acclaimed director acknowledged losses through his charity the Wunderkinder Foundation, though it isn't known whether he has suffered personal losses, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The publisher of US News & World Report and the Daily News of New York said that a money manager had invested 10 percent, or $30 million, of his foundation's charitable trust.
Others with undisclosed losses include New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, and former New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
HSBC has potential exposure of about $1.5 billion, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed people close to the situation. The exposure is from loans it provided to institutional clients, mainly hedge funds of funds, that wanted to invest with Madoff, according to the FT.
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