Madoff's Worldwide Web

By Jacobs, Samuel P. | Newsweek, February 28, 2011 | Go to article overview

Madoff's Worldwide Web


Jacobs, Samuel P., Newsweek


Byline: Samuel P. Jacobs

Bernie Madoff now spends his days in prison after copping to the greatest Ponzi scheme in history. More than two years after its discovery, the swindle keeps claiming new victims and casting shadows over his business partners. NEWSWEEK's guide to the $65 billion crime's cast of characters.

Bernie Madoff

The Boss

Inmate No. 61727-054 has served 30 months of his 150-year sentence at a federal facility in Butner, N.C., where he counts a former spy and onetime mob boss as his associates. The jailhouse celebrity, 72, has traded his Savile Row suits for a khaki uniform and passes the hours reading paperback crime thrillers. Madoff claimed in a recent New York Times interview that his banking partners "had to know" about his fraud.

Irving Picard

The Victims' Advocate

The court-appointed trustee, a New York City lawyer, is trying to return money to thousands of Madoff's victims. So far, Picard has clawed back $10 billion, but he's aiming much higher. To some, Picard's a hero. To others, he's a shakedown artist.

Mark Madoff

The Lost Son

In December, Mark Madoff, 46, who had worked with his father, committed suicide. His wife had found it so hard to be a Madoff that she asked a court to change her last name--and their children's.

Andrew Madoff

The Younger Brother

Like his older brother, Andrew, 44, denied any knowledge of fraud at the family firm. Since then, he and his fiancee have started a company that provides emergency-planning strategies for families. The trustee keeps close tabs on his spending.

Ruth Madoff

The Wife

Ruth was reportedly turned away from a private memorial service for Mark. Both brothers stopped speaking to their mother, 69, and father after he admitted his fraud. She has taken refuge in Florida, dyed her hair red, and is using her maiden name (Alpern).

Barbara & Jeffrey Picower

The Fallen Philanthropist

The vast majority of trustee Irving Picard's clawback--$7.2 billion--came from one place: the estate of Jeffrey Picower. The philanthropist drowned in 2009, leaving his wife to return the fortune that the couple had amassed thanks in large part to Madoff's financial chicanery. …

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