Editorial Put Madoff away for life then keep after the others 2009: Palm Beach

Editorial Put Madoff away for life then keep after the others

Palm Beach Post Editorial Robert Jaffe knew.

Jeffry Picower knew. Those two stunning allegations are spelled out in federal court filings stemming from the $65 billion Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Mr. Jaffe was the Palm Beach socialite who recruited investors for Madoff at the Palm Beach Country Club and elsewhere by building an aura of privilege and exclusivity around Madoff&39s supposedly remarkable investment prowess. In her December announcement that her charity had been wiped out, Mr. Picower&39s wife, Barbara, wrote that Madoff&39s &34act of fraud has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of lives as well as numerous philanthropic foundations and nonprofit organizations.&34 But the trustee&39s charges against Mr. Picower show that the foundation took $290 million over 14 years from Madoff. Ms. Picower worked to ensure that the money went to good causes, but the money originated with investors who lost their life savings.

Those investors are correctly demanding that U.S. District Judge Denny Chin today hand down what amounts to a life sentence for the 71-year-old Madoff. He faces 150 years but is asking for 12. Arguing for the max, Richard B. Shapiro, a &34Madoff Victim for Life&34 from Hidden Hills, Calif., wrote to Judge Chin that after Madoff&39s arrest on Dec. 11 &34I went into a deep depression and didn&39t leave my home until Jan. 3. I lost 30 pounds, could not swallow food and lived in fear that my wife and children would be left penniless.&34

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