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Madoff’s Victims Speak Out

Posted on Mar 21, 2009

Some of them have only their homes, while others have no remaining assets and no means to earn income, but all of the former clients of Bernard Madoff (at right) whose statements were made public by the government on Friday described in nightmarish terms their experiences since Madoff’s fraudulent investment empire crumbled.

Meantime, a U.S. federal appeals court ruled that the Ponzi schemer will have to stay in jail as he awaits sentencing in mid-June.


Some of the messages released today by prosecutors had senders’ names blacked out. Others were written by relatives on behalf of elderly or ailing victims, including an 87-year-old Alzheimer’s patient who lost her $500,000 life savings.

“That money was for her to live out the rest of her life in comfort,” a child of the Alzheimer’s patient wrote in a March 9 e-mail that had the name redacted. “She is very depressed and can’t understand why this happened to her.”

Until now, most attention has been given to celebrities, hedge funds and banks around the world that lost money in Madoff’s scam. Many of the victims revealed [Friday] cite relatively smaller losses that accounted for larger shares of wealth.

“I am not rich,” a 52-year-old self-employed woman in California wrote in a letter. “The entire amount I lost was nowhere near a million dollars, but I was proud I had saved it. I do not own a home to sell. I do not have anyone to support me in my old age.”

Many of the letters called on the government to make an extra effort to help victims.

Given the SEC’s failure, “it is certainly justice that everyone in the federal government do what he or she can to ameliorate this situation,” said Eugene Wolsk, 80, of Montauk, New York, who invested with Madoff for 21 years.

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By Sepharad, March 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Re Eliot Bernstein’s comments—If Madoff somehow made life unpleasant for any Russian mobster, I think we can assume some payback will be forthcoming.

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By Eliot Bernstein, March 23, 2009 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A branch of the Tishman family, Tishman Construction Company, specializes in
the building and operation of entertainment complexes, including casinos
projects in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Last July, Tishman and Revel Hotel
and Casino in Atlantic City executives were killed in a plane crash in
Owatonna, Minnesota, 60 miles south of Minneapolis.

Chin and Madoff were linchpins in a major redevelopment scheme for New York
called the “Cornerstones.” There are four Cornerstone” redevelopment
projects planned for Manhattan that will see the building of major
entertainment and gambling casino operations in the city with high-speed
rail links between them and to other parts of the city. The four
“Cornerstones” are the new World Trade Center site surrounding the future
Freedom Tower, Grand Central Station/Times Square, Penn Station, and a
floating casino complex on the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge.

WMR has been told that Chin is closely allied in the mega-billion dollar
real estate development scheme with former Attorney General Michael Mukasey,
who once served on the same southern district of Manhattan federal circuit
with Chin. WMR is told that Chin and Mukasey represented the interests of
New York’s “Landlord Lobby” and “West Side Lobby” in major cases involving
real estate plans for New York City. Chin and Mukasey failed to recuse
themselves from cases in which they had clear conflicts-of-interest, WMR was
informed. Mukasey’s son Marc, an attorney for the law firm Bracewell
Giuliani, is representing Frank DiPasquale, Madoff’s chief financial
officer. Mukasey and Giuliani are also close friends and business associates
and both worked for the same law firm Patterson Belknap.

Although the Cornerstones projects are supported by New York interests who
represent the middle class and poor, mainly due to the fact that it will
create mixed-income housing units and provide money for public education and
the city’s increasingly deteriorating public schools, critics point out that
the project has been stalled because major players who used Madoff to
launder money in New York and abroad for the entertainment and casino
operations skimmed some of the proceeds for themselves and have essentially
stalled the project. Critics also point out that the planned Freedom Tower
complex at the old World Trade Center site has been delayed for seven years
due to money, in addition to basic construction materials like concrete and
steel, have been siphoned off for other more immediate construction

In addition, although the Cornerstones is slated to improve public
education, a number of public schools have been sold off for private
development as part of the overall scheme.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the southern district of Manhattan Chad
Vignola, who also worked for Mayor Giuliani on the city’s Waste Management
Commission and resigned from the city’s Department of Education amid a
nepotism scandal, is reportedly very much involved with the Cornerstones
project and is close to both Giuliani and Chin in ensuring the project’s
completion. Vignola resigned as chief counsel for New York City’s Education
Commissioner Joel Klein, a Bloomberg appointee who takes his orders from the
Giuliani-Bloomberg “mafia” in New York, after Deputy Education Commissioner
Diana Lam resigned after she tried to get her husband hired by the Education
Department. The sale of public school property to private real estate
developers has reportedly been at the center of Klein’s tenure, along with
the creation of charter schools at the expense of deteriorating schools in
poorer area of the city.

Two area state governors who posed potential problems for the Cornerstones
project were dispatched quickly through sex scandals.

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By Eliot Bernstein, March 23, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The billions of dollars that the Cornerstones players had Madoff skim in his
Ponzi scheme that are sitting in off-shore locations, including Israel, the
Cayman Islands, Belize, and other financial centers, was to have been
re-introduced into New York to fund the Cornerstones development projects.
But the fact that Madoff was caught in the scheme and ran the risk of
identifying and testifying against his “handlers” has put the entire
Cornerstones project risk, WMR has been told.

The Madoff money that was “parked” in Israel, with Russian-Israeli mobsters
earning interest and able to use the funds for other financial “leverag,”
was to be pumped back into New York for the Russian-Israeli mob to make
billions from the Cornerstones casino/entertainment complexes in Manhattan.
Bloomberg was being counted on to “deliver” the project but now that Madoff
was caught the project has been further delayed and silent “investors” in
the project are growing restless.

Madoff had guaranteed the major Cornerstones developers that there would be
“no release” of information on the source of funding for the project and
former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani guaranteed that Madoff’s “account”
would be protected from federal, state, and local law enforcement scrutiny.

WMR was told by our legal source in New York that Madoff and Chin have their
“strings pulled” by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a “shill” for Giuliani
who plans to run for Governor of New York to take care that New York City’s
redevelopment project does not face any problems in Albany; former New York
Governor Mario Cuomo, who is shilling for the financial interests of his son
Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Attorney General (Giuliani jumped the GOP ship in
1994 to endorse Democrat Mario Cuomo for Governor); and former Senator
Alphonse D’Amato, Giuliani’s political enemy who, nevertheless, hopes to
capitalize on the Cornerstones project.

In fact, WMR was told that the federal stimulus package for New York City is
almost entirely slated for rail and rail station projects to support the
Cornerstones. These projects include a hookup between the Second Avenue
subway and the Q Street subway that will also connect to a high-speed rail
link from the East River floating casino to Coney Island; a new rail tunnel
linking the Grand Central Station/Times Square casino/entertainment complex
with the World Trade Center complex; and enhanced rail links between the
Cornerstones and New Jersey. One indication that the federal stimulus money
is geared for new rail stations is the fact that the rail station for the
new Yankee Stadium is still not completed just weeks prior to the opening of
the new stadium.

One source familiar with Cornerstones emphasized the pressure on Bloomberg
to deliver on the project. The source revealed that if the Madoff fiasco is
any indication of Bloomberg’s team’s performance, the project is in real
trouble. The source added that Bloomberg will pay dearly politically and
financially if he fails “to deliver the goods” on the Cornerstones.

With Madoff going to federal prison without a jury trial and no conspiracy
charges being brought, the investors in Cornerstone hope their mega-project
can be saved with little public notice. It is also certain that based on the
massive returns that were expected from Cornerstones, some of Madoff’s
closest investors, who are now complaining about not knowing about his Ponzi
scheme, likely knew very well that if the project came off without a hitch,
they stood to gain on their original investments.

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By Lobstaman, March 23, 2009 at 4:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a lot of talk about how Madoff was just a greedy individual who came to ruin because some cosmic justice.  Madoff was a very intelligent man who knew exactly what he was doing. Madoff’s investors were chosen carefully and not all benefited nor were extorted equally. There was a carefully balanced assortment that were divided into two groups, people who thought they were investing and left their money to appreciate, and groups that used their investments as an endowment and continually withdrew funds either for retirement plans or operating costs. Since the Madoff Affaire is a crime and not an investment gone bad, the authorities should track all the disbusrsements as every aspect, from start to finish is part of the overall crime. Those who took 10-15 percent of their investment annually probably got more than they originall put in—they might even have made a handsome profit. While those who were investing for their retirement lost everything.  A fuller disclosure is certainly in order for those people and an understanding of Madoff’s scheme. While Madoff and his band of hoodlums lived the high life, they could not have spent all the money; there is every reason to believe that the money was selectively disbursed.

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By iviewit, March 22, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Investors who have been burned in these scams should start to seek redress from the lawyers who were involved with these scams. I personally have been trying to notify regulators and authorities of a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR scam that is putting states like New York and Florida at huge risk, as well as, companies like Intel, Lockheed, SGI and IBM. The states and companies involved in the fraud fail to acknowledge the risk exposing shareholders and citizens to impending liabilities. Investigators, courts and federal agents ignoring the crimes and evidence, including a car-bombing attempt on my life. I know how Harry Markopolos felt trying to expose Madoff in a world without regulation.
Did I hear Proskauer Rose is involved in Madoff (involved many clients too) and acted as Allen Stanford’s attorney. Investors who lost money in these scams should start looking at the law firm Proskauer’s assets for recovery. First, Proskauer partner Gregg Mashberg claims Madoff is a financial 9/11 for their clients, if they directed you to Madoff sue them. Then, Proskauer partner Thomas Sjoblom former enforcement dude for SEC and Allen Stanford attorney, declares PARTY IS OVER to Stanford employees and advises them to PRAY, this two days before SEC hearings. Then at hearings, he lies with Holt to SEC saying she only prepared with him but fails to mention Miami meeting at airport hanger. Then Sjoblom resigns after SEC begins investigation and sends note to SEC disaffirming all statements made by him and Proskauer, his butt on fire. If you were burned in Stanford sue Proskauer.

Proskauer Rose and Foley & Lardner are also in a TRILLION dollar FEDERAL LAWSUIT legally related to a WHISTLEBLOWER CASE also in FEDERAL COURT. Marc S. Dreier is also a defendant in the Federal Case.
The Trillion Dollar suit according to Judge Shira Scheindlin is one of PATENT THEFT, MURDER & A CAR BOMBING. For graphics on the car bombing visit
The Federal Court cases
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Docket 08-4873-cv - Bernstein, et al. v Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee, et al. - TRILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT
Cases @ US District Court - Southern District NY
(07cv09599) Anderson v The State of New York, et al. - WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT
(07cv11196) Bernstein, et al. v Appellate Division First Department Disciplinary Committee, et al.
(07cv11612) Esposito v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv00526) Capogrosso v New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, et al.,
(08cv02391) McKeown v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv02852) Galison v The State of New York, et al.,
(08cv03305) Carvel v The State of New York, et al., and,
(08cv4053) Gizella Weisshaus v The State of New York, et al.
(08cv4438) Suzanne McCormick v The State of New York, et al.

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By samosamo, March 21, 2009 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

By M. Currey, March 21 at 6:58 pm

Exactly! I like to make the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 as the starting point but I would think with the corporate issues from the late 19th century would probably be a more likely starting point. Next would be little milton ‘the evil monster’ friedman’s economics of ‘unfettered markets’ meaning no regulation, tranparency, oversight or accountability which does as it states, nothing is against the law and just whom would you expect to see that gift horse for what it was? Of course, the criminals and when it deals with money being played as a sign of how strong our economy is(man, have I ever heard that enough from w & dick, even rupert murdoch) so it goes without question.

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By M. Currey, March 21, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is what happens when Wall Street is the main job source in the United States.  Corporations are the rulers of this dictatorship that is called Capatalism I would rather see socialism than what we call this democracy.

Madoff just prayed off the bubble that was going on and anyone who has studied history knows that the good times do not go on forever that is what caused the great depression during the thirties, it took quite a while to get out of that and this thing we are expericing might not be over yet.

Of course the so called “experts” are saying it will be over in a year, but that is like saying we are going to have a short war and we all see what that was about.

Chaney and Rumsfield made that Iraq thing a short war, right?

I hope that Madoff does not sleep well at night and that goes for his wife and sons as well.

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