web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 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
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Pro-Israel Group: Tell Chuck Schumer Not to Cave [video]
Latest News Stories
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Remind Sen. Chuck Schumer that he said any deal with Iran must include “anywhere, anytime” inspections.

Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

The four men were returning from a basketball game near the Israeli community of Shvut Rachel when Palestinian Authority gunmen opened fire on their car in what security sources believe to have been a premeditated ambush.

The funeral for Rabbi Yekutiel Menachem Rapp is to pass by 770 Eastern Parkway Tuesday at 3:45 pm ET.

The United States and the other P5+1 powers unsurprisingly have extended the June 30 deadline for reaching an agreement to supervise and limit Iran’s nuclear development program. The extension is for one week, until July 7. As The JewishPress.com reported here earlier this week, “deadline” has a different meaning in the Muslim Middle East than […]

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 25, lived in the community of Kochav HaShachar in Samaria.

“The PA message to Washington is they want peace. The PA message to their kids is killing Israelis is heroic. It’s time the U.S. figured out which is the true message.”

The agreement does not mean that Orange is leaving Israel, despite wrong headlines elsewhere.

ISIS executioners the past 12 months have murdered 3,000 people, including 86 women and 74 children.

The Tzohar rabbinic organization is focusing on how Anglo immigrants “fit” into Israel’s mosaic this summer.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu warned world leaders they must take a stand against terror in Israel as well.

Two US churches vote on BDS anti-Semitic motions today. One is to vote Wednesday. Millions could be affected.

Israel’s government approves new security fencing along its eastern border.

The father of a critically injured victim of Monday’s road terror attack in Binyamin asks people to pray for his son.

Some Chareidi men fishing on the beach, near the Ashdod port.

Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp, 66, is struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Crown Heights.

Jews in Ukraine are without one of their life-saving Hatzolah ambulances after an arsonist targeted the vehicle Sunday.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Even in our local solar system there are numerous moons and planets for a celestial traveler to choose from.

Israeli physician Dr. Yuval Rabinovich reviews possible reasons ‘why we have never met aliens.’

My Family Story student participants gathered at Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv on Sunday, June 14, 2015.

Students from around the world participated in a Jewish Roots art project; winners gathered in Tel Aviv on Sunday.

Widening “Highway 1″ has unearthed the church, oil lamps, a mosaic floor and mother-of-pearl shells.

Bennett preached unity, but Herzog scolded him for crossing the “red line” in the elections.

Iran tried to buy UN-banned products in the Czech Republic but was caught and stopped, Reuters reports exclusively.

Special needs artists showed their talent at Jewish Children’s Museum on Mother’s Day in New York.

The test was planned, but the Defense Ministry is mum on details.

The assault was on the same street where Ilan Halimi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 2006.

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: