web analytics
April 18, 2015 / 29 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Former 5th Av. Synagogue President Returns $410 Million to Madoff Victims

J. Ezra Merkin (R) with Rabbi Ya’acov Medan, Co-Dean of Yeshivat Har Etzion.

J. Ezra Merkin (R) with Rabbi Ya’acov Medan, Co-Dean of Yeshivat Har Etzion.
Photo Credit: Joel

Former money manager J. Ezra Merkin has agreed to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars to duped investors in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

More than 30 charities invested with Merkin, many of them with a Jewish affiliation.

The NY Post reported at the time that members of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, where Merkin served as president, “suffered a $2 billion bloodbath.” Madoff, a non-member, was introduced to them by President Merkin.

Those victims included Ira Rennert, Mort Zuckerman, and Elie Wiesel.

In a settlement announced Monday by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Merkin agreed to pay $405 million to compensate investors over a three-year period, and $5 million to the State of New York to cover fees and costs. It is the first settlement resulting from a government action against Merkin.

A close business associate of Madoff’s, Merkin controlled four funds that invested more than $2 billion with Madoff on behalf of hundreds of investors, including many New Yorkers and charitable organizations.

While investors in Ariel Fund Ltd., Gabriel Capital LP, Ascot Fund Ltd and Ascot Partners LP, whose assets were largely handled by Madoff, lost in excess of $1.2 billion, Merkin received hundreds of millions of dollars in management fees.

“By holding Mr. Merkin accountable, this settlement will help bring justice for the people and institutions that lost millions of dollars,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

According to the statement, for nearly two decades Merkin presented himself as a skilled money manager and used his social and charitable connections to raise more than $4 billion from hundreds of individuals, charities and other investors. Merkin turned over to Madoff all of the money in the Ascot Funds, and a substantial portion of the Ariel and Gabriel Funds.

In misleading offering documents and quarterly reports, Merkin concealed Madoff’s role and misrepresented the role he was playing in managing the funds, the statement said. Acting primarily as a marketer and middleman, Merkin obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in management and incentive fees from his investors.

Investors could recover more than 40 percent of their cash losses. Investors who were not aware of Madoff’s role will receive a higher percentage of their losses, while those who were aware of Madoff’s role will be eligible to receive a smaller percentage.

Among the victims, according to The Associated Press, were the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, New York Law School, Bard College, Harlem Children’s Zone and Homes for the Homeless.

Merkin also is being pursued by Irving Picard, the court-appointed trustee charged with returning money to Madoff’s victims. Picard is trying to retrieve $500 million from Merkin and the funds.

Picard has entered agreements to recover $9 billion, more than half the cash claims related to the $64 billion Ponzi scheme.

JTA contributed to this article.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Former 5th Av. Synagogue President Returns $410 Million to Madoff Victims”

  1. You're keeping me Alert and with your coverage of all things "real important'' exercise my knowledge to a degree of satisfaction. Thank you for your continuous valuable reporting!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars
No Victory for V15 and Not Healthy ‘Healthy’ Snack Bars
Latest News Stories
Hebron terrorist arrested

The wannabe terrorist wanted to be arrested more than he actually wanted to stab the soldier.

Raising Star

Israeli workers raise a large Star of David (Magen David) onto the “Harp Bridge” at the entrance of Jerusalem on April 17, 2015, in honor of Israel’s upcoming Israel’s Memorial Day and the 67th Independence Day. Israel will mark its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015.

Daniel Lubetzky  president of V15 and CEO of Kind "healthy" bars

First thwarted at the Israeli polls, now V15 funder’s “healthy” bars are also losers.

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

The EU wants to label Settler products. Liberman want to remind them of the last time they labeled Jews.

A pro-BDS professor at Sydney University may face disciplinary action over his conduct at lecture where anti-Israelis disrupted a speech by retired British Col. Richard Kemp, who has often praised  the IDF for its morality while fighting terror. The university issued a “show cause” letter to Prof. Jake Lynch, according to The Australian. Jewish students […]

Liberman is adamantly insisting on receiving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but Netanyahu wants Liberman to step back and take something else.

The teacher could face three years in jail for displaying Nazi symbols, which includes singing Nazi songs.

Ministerial distributions are starting to firm up, but Bennett reportedly has a new demand.

Egypt’s clampdown on tunnel has left Gazans without popular and addictive drug that helps them forget their misery.

“Our men, our women, our children all envision kidnapping your soldiers and settlers, wherever they are.”

12 Christian Africans ‘thrown overboard’ by Muslim African migrants

The rock under the mosaic floor that was damaged is the foundation where the two Holy Temples stood.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry calls the Shoah “the most painful and horrific chapter in human history.”

Thousands paid their respects to Shalom Yochai Sherki, 25, who succumbed on Thursday morning to injuries he received when a car that slammed into a bus stop he was standing near.

The president was very politically correct on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Sturmführer Horst Wessel leading his unit, SA-Sturm 5 of Berlin-Friedrichshain, Nuremberg 1929.

The teacher could face three years in jail for displaying Nazi symbols, which includes singing Nazi songs.

View of the Israeli nuclear reactor located in the Sorek valley.

Ratification does not imply admission of the possession of nuclear weapons.

Muslim terrorists from Somalia want to make Kenya the next victim on its way to take over northern Africa.

Niv Asraf wasn’t kidnapped near Hebron after all. Apparently he and his friend planned this…

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Three Israeli Caving Club hikers found the cache in a stalactite cave in northern Israel.

Israel’s PM Netanyahu was interrupted 40 times with standing ovations in his 40 minute historic speech to the US Congress on Tuesday. Transcript here.

As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-5t-av-synagogue-president-returns-410-million-to-madoff-victims/2012/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: