Bernard Madoff’s Circle of Victims Widens; Charities Caught in his Scheme, Forced to Close

As if the city’s charities didn’t have enough to contend with this holdiay season, it looks as though newly infamous investor Bernard Madoff is going to make things that much worse. Mr. Madoff, who is all over the news for squadering billions of dollars in high-profile money in a massive Ponzi scheme, will be taking a number of philanthropic organizations down with him. Via Bloomberg, we have a partial talley: 

– Both the JEHT Foundation, a large foundation dedicated to electoral reform and improving the criminal justice system, and Massachusetts’s Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, which covered the costs of trips to Israel for teenagers, will close as a result of their lost investments.

– Mr. Madoff seems to have been solely responsible for investing the money of author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel‘s foundation, which sponsors an annual ethics contest and after-school programs for Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

– He was also a money manager for Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation, which disbursed about $5.2 million in 2006 to causes like the Ross School and Los Angeles’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and handled 45 percent of the $324 million Carl and Ruth Shapiro Foundation, which donated to Brandeis University and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

– SAR Academy, an Orthodox Jewish school in Riverdale, New York had invested about a third of its $3.7 million dollar endowment with Mr. Madoff. 

– Mr. Madoff also headed up New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon’s family foundation, which donated $50,000 to New York’s City Center and $10,000 to New York’s Jewish Museum.

Representatives for these organizations have mostly avoided comment. Maybe they’re waiting to wake up?  Bernard Madoff’s Circle of Victims Widens; Charities Caught in his Scheme, Forced to Close