web analytics
March 3, 2015 / 12 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Madoff Sentencing Offers Little Solace To Victims


Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in jail, the maximum allowed for his crimes.


U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin during the sentencing called Madoff’s crimes “staggering.”


Madoff, 71, confessed to bilking investors of up to $65 billion in his Ponzi scheme.


Prosecutors had sought the 150-year sentence. Madoff’s lawyers had asked for leniency and a 12-year sentence.


For Belle Faber, the sentencing of Madoff felt surreal.


Television coverage of Monday’s event was being projected on a screen in the conference room of the American Jewish Congress, one of the Jewish nonprofits hit hardest by Madoff’s thievery. Faber, the organization’s development director for nearly 25 years, had retreated into her office to watch CNN by herself.


The archival footage of Madoff flickering across the screen showed the person who had sat across from Faber numerous times in the offices of AJCongress, which Madoff once served as a board member. Faber even knew Madoff’s wife, Ruth, and recently came across an old note she wrote to the Madoffs wishing them a good trip to Florida.


Still, Faber says, she doesn’t wish vengeance on Madoff, even though he bilked his victims, including Faber’s organization, out of up to $65 billion. The AJCongress lost $21 million – 90 percent of its endowment – in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, forcing the organization to lay off 25 staff members.


“I have left a legacy of shame,” Madoff said in the Manhattan courtroom before his sentencing, according to media reports. “This is something I will live in for the rest of my life.”


Madoff’s shame was little solace for some of those he hurt.


“Mr. Madoff is not going to find any sympathy from us,” said Marc Stern, acting co-executive director of AJCongress.


“There has been a 150-year sentence in the case of a 71-year-old man. It is not in practical terms very great, but in symbolic terms it is very significant.”


“It doesn’t give us our $20 million back,” Stern went on. “That is inherent in these sorts of processes. It is satisfaction mixed with the reality that it does not undo the harm that he did.”


For some charities decimated by Madoff, things will never be the same.


The Robert I. Lappin Foundation’s entire $8 million in assets was wiped out by Madoff’s scheme and was transformed by the loss.


It used to fund programs such as Youth to Israel, which sends kids from Massachusetts on free trips to Israel, out of its own once deep pockets; now the foundation must raise funds to survive.


New programs, like one that would have sent teachers to Israel, have been put on hold, according to Deborah Coltin, the foundation’s executive director.


“If I was to sum it up, justice was served. What else is there to say?” Coltin told JTA. “The Lappin Foundation has been able to pick up and move on. We haven’t been thinking about it.”


One Madoff victim, Carla Hirschhorn, who lost her entire $7 million in savings in Madoff’s scheme, called her life a “living hell.” She said her mother is now dependent on Social Security and her daughter works two jobs to pay tuition.


Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate who saw most of his fortune stolen by Madoff – and who has been stumping across the country talking about it and trying to raise money – declined to comment.


So did Yeshiva University, one of the nonprofits hit hardest by Madoff, having lost $110 million in real and imagined profits.


“It just doesn’t benefit anyone to be associated with this anymore,” said one observer close to the situation.


Faber said she often wondered if a check made out to the AJCongress was among the stack of checks for tens of millions of dollars that investigators found in Madoff’s desk after he was arrested – because maybe, just maybe, Madoff would have wanted to do right by the charities he had devastated.


Watching coverage of the trial, Faber said she felt the charity world she had known was gone.


“We will never see the kind of beneficence we have always seen in the future because of what happened,” Faber said. “He has changed the whole fabric of the Jewish community, especially when it comes to organizations like ours.” (JTA)

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.

No Responses to “Madoff Sentencing Offers Little Solace To Victims”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
U.S. Capitol
It Is Bipartisan, These House Democrats Will be at Bibi’s Speech
Latest News Stories
U.S. Capitol

Names and contact information of House Democrats who have confirmed attendance at Bibi’s speech.

Obama's opposition to Netanyahu's speaking in Congress has cooked up demand for tickets.

The anti-Netanyahu crowd, in the spirit of topsy-turvy Purim, drummed up support for his speech.

President Barack Obama and Iran do not speak the same language..

Iran, like the Palestinian Authority, has one mindset. A deal is not peace. It is an evil piece of paper.

Spilled Milk

PA President Mahmoud Abbas is making sure PA children will go without milk and the parents forced to ration what little milk they have.

US President Barack Obama contends Israel is “safer today than ever before,” says give Iran talks a chance.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is threatening to kill the founder of Twitter and his employees because they are blocking tweets from Daesh, known also as ISIS.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power tells AIPAC on Monday that America “will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period.”

“Today, we are no longer silent; today, we have a voice. Tomorrow, as prime minister of the only Jewish state, I plan to use that voice.”

Former Consul Alon Pinkas charges Prime Minister Netanyahu is “injecting Israel into the American political arena – he loves doing that.”

Former Israel Ambassador to the UN Dore Gold says PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress “will have substance no one has heard before.”

Want to know who are the Bibicotters and how you can tell them what you think?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a packed room at AIPAC on Monday the US-Israel alliance is “sound.” But on Iran: “No one makes alliances with the weak,” he warned.

IDF soldiers, reservists and local security units participated in a massive training drill in the town of Efrat, Gush Etzion, reenacting an infiltration of terrorists into the settlement, on March 02, 2015. The IDF’s central command called a surprise training exercise in the West Bank to test reservists’ alertness and to prepare for the possibility […]

I’m not going to get into timetables. It will happen.

American like Netanyahu by a 2-1 margin, with Obama probably in the minority.

More Articles from Jacob Berkman

After discovering $7 million in fraudulent payments, the Claims Conference is facing questions about whether it will recover the money and how extensive the fraud actually was.

After discovering $7 million in fraudulent payments, the Claims Conference is facing questions about whether it will recover the money and how extensive the fraud actually was.

Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in jail, the maximum allowed for his crimes.

U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin during the sentencing called Madoff’s crimes “staggering.”

Bernard Madoff was sentenced Monday to 150 years in jail, the maximum allowed for his crimes.
U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin during the sentencing called Madoff’s crimes “staggering.”

Three of the largest local Jewish federations in the United States announced significant layoffs during the past two weeks, raising concerns about the future health of the country’s main Jewish charitable network.

Three of the largest local Jewish federations in the United States announced significant layoffs during the past two weeks, raising concerns about the future health of the country’s main Jewish charitable network.

The Yeshiva Elementary School, an Orthodox institution in Miami Beach with about 450 students, was in dire straits in late 2008. It was behind on payroll, in significant debt and facing financial collapse.

The Yeshiva Elementary School, an Orthodox institution in Miami Beach with about 450 students, was in dire straits in late 2008. It was behind on payroll, in significant debt and facing financial collapse.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/madoff-sentencing-offers-little-solace-to-victims/2009/07/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: