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The Washington Independent

Some of Madoff’s Innocent Victims Might Not Be So Innocent After All

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 18, 2009

The investigation into disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme is taking a new turn, as the Securities and Exchange Commission begins investigating whether some of Madoff’s biggest “victims” actually were in on the scam, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Some of the victims apparently were able to state the size of the annual returns they wanted from Madoff. Their accounts soon would reflect those returns, some of which regularly reached as high as 100 percent. The Journal cites people familiar with the investigation as its source.

That’s not quite the way investing works for most of us, which is why the SEC must be interested.

Here are some of the victims — who may not be victims after all — according to The Journal:

Jeffry Picower and Stanley Chais, two philanthropists who invested heavily with Mr. Madoff, and Carl Shapiro, one of the money manager’s oldest friends, are among at least eight Madoff investors and associates being scrutinized by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Lots of people have wondered how Madoff got away with his scheme for so long. If these allegations are true, it gives a clearer picture of how it happened. And, if proven, it also means that Madoff wasn’t the only criminal behind the scheme.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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