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Names of thousands of apparent customers in Bernie Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme were filed in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court yesterday (Wed. Feb. 4). The amounts of money they had invested in the scheme were not revealed. The Reader's Matt Potter culled the list for San Diego County investors. I was able to get to six of them this afternoon. The list includes Robert J. Mintz of New Balance Investments LLC at a Del Mar address -- the same one his office occupied eight years ago. His Asset Protection Law Center is now in Fallbrook. Mintz is an expert in offshore banking, among other things. "I wasn't an investor with Madoff and if it's a client matter I'm not able to comment," he says. He doesn't know why his name would be on the list. "I do not have and never had a company by the name of New Balance Investments LLC. It is not and never has been an entity associated with me or my firm."

Lawrence and Leona Krevat of Rancho Santa Fe are on the list. He died a year ago. "My husband was invested with (Madoff) from the day he started," says Leona Krevat. "We did not know him personally. We knew a lawyer who knew him and he advised us to get connected with Madoff." They took some of the Madoff money out of their IRA account when her husband reached 70 and a half, as is required by law, "but we still have enough to be significant. I am heartsick over the whole thing. He would send us statements. When the stock market started to recede, we were very happy we were making 10 percent." She has hired a lawyer to try to get money back.

"I knew Bernie well," says Martin Fisher of San Diego, who had a trust with Madoff along with his wife Beatrice. "I trusted him. We're from New York. I talked with him several times [about the account there.] I never did get suspicious. I didn't know the technique he was using. It was a big blow." He has hired an attorney. "The attorneys will get all the money and the people will get little. That is a crime."

Ernest Abbit and Nadine Lange had money in through a living trust. "I pulled it out about three years ago," says Abbit. He has not been asked to return the funds, as some have. "I got in through the father of my daughter-in-law." He did know Madoff. "I was shocked and somewhat relieved that I did what I did."

William Gershen of Rancho Santa Fe, president of Vanguard Industries, is in with a revocable trust with his wife, Debra. "My attorney has instructed me not to make any comment," says Gershen. An unidentified source close to Gershen says that he did not have that much money in the pot.

Bobbi Cohen and Eugene Smith are on the list. She is a prominent fundraiser for San Diego Project Heart Beat. "I don't mean to be rude, but I am not interested in giving any information about my connection to Bernie Madoff," she says.

Others on the list: Murli and Rani Hathiramani; Morris Felder living trust; Gerald J. Block of Rancho Santa Fe; Patricia F. Slattery of Oceanside; Robert and Sherry McKenzie of Encinitas; Sylvia Cohen of Encinitas; Sylvia F. Wernick revocable trust; John Todd Figi revocable trust; Timothy and Valerie Teufel, Poway; Peter Copen charitable trust, Carlsbad; Dewitt Drury iter vivos trust, Vista; Irving Pinto, Del Mar; James Sleeper, Solana Beach, and Janice Nadler, Carlsbad.

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Comments

JohnnyVegas Feb. 5, 2009 @ 7:38 p.m.

Man, is this sad.

I feel so sorry for each and everyone of these people that were conned, especially the ones that had their trust money with Madoff.

Bernie Madoff should be sitting in County right now-I still for the life of me do not know why he was allowed out on bail with the size of his ponzi scheme.

Unbelievable.

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Don Bauder Feb. 5, 2009 @ 8:06 p.m.

Response to post #1: Yes, and you can bet that the SEC will never probe itself on why it missed Madoff, and the Congress will not have a sufficient probe of the SEC. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Feb. 5, 2009 @ 11:05 p.m.

The Madoff scandal is not your typical embezzelement scheme where the cozener uses investor money to live the high life. It appears that very little of the money went into Madoff's pocket. In this case, Madoff used new investor money to pay off old investors like the couple cited above who pulled their money out three years ago. The returns this couple received on their money was not from investments, but rather, money stolen from new investors. The couple should have to return all the monies they received from Madoff in excess of their original investment in the fund. All investors who received cash distributions from the fund in excess of their cash investments should be forced to disgorge their "profits." The proceeds should used to make the new investors who lost everything whole.

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Burwell Feb. 5, 2009 @ 11:32 p.m.

The LA Times article below indicates that investors in a similar swindle faced lawsuits seeking the return of their fictitious profits. Many of the investors who believe Madoff completely wiped them out will eventually recover a large portion of their losses, primarily from investors like the couple above, who pulled their money out before the collapse. Investors who unknowingly profited from Madoff's swindle are going to be stunned when they become aware that they are liable for the losses even though they did nothing wrong.

http://www.skeptictank.org/slatkin/rslat067.htm

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 7:25 a.m.

Response to post #3: Madoff lived pretty lavishly, but you are correct that it was a Ponzi scheme, or at least Madoff has admitted as much. This means that money from new investors went to pay off old investors, as you point out. Equitably, old investors should have to pay some back. Bankruptcy law mandates this, but it depends on the time frame: do you have to pay back if you got your money out three or five or seven years ago? I honestly don't know the guidelines the BK court has set up in this case. It's quite possible those plans have not been finalized. There will be a huge battle once the plan is set. Charitable organizations are in the pot; will they be required to pay back the money they gained? Lots of people will be dead. Much of the money will be sheltered offshore. It will be a mess. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 7:30 a.m.

Response to post #4: I am not sure those investors believing they are wiped out will get back a "large portion" of their money. Remember, legal fees will take 35 percent or more off the top. And then there are the other problems I outlined above: money sheltered offshore, etc. This will be a feast for the legal profession, which normally walks off with more than one-third of bankruptcy proceeds. And remember: it's in the interest of lawyers to make the resolution more complicated, thus keeping the clock running. Best, Don Bauder

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Time_on_my_hands Feb. 6, 2009 @ 9:39 a.m.

The other day, I had the opportunity to watch the coverage on CSPAN of the House subcommittee on Financial Services. (I know, get a life!) There was a remarkable difference between the testimony of Harry Markopolos and that of the toadies from the SEC. I subsequently researched Markopolos "red flags" report and found the document (cited below)amazing. While it is clear that the SEC is incapable of policing itself and its Inspector General has thus far stonewalled Congress, I suspect that a day of reckoning may be forthcoming. The ranting of Rep. Ackerman aside, I hope the Madoff scandal will be fully investigated not only by Congress but by the Dept. of Justice. As Ackerman pointed out, Madoff was not the only bad guy; the SEC is riddled with them. Moreover, I was intrigued by Markopolos' suggestion that organized crime was inextricably involved in the Ponzi scheme (while also asking them to see he's on their side, lol). If Madoff is to see any relief in his eventual sentencing, his proferred cooperation will be most critical. This story has many tentacles and, yes, the lawyers will have a field day with most of them. Oliver Stone may already be working on the screenplay.

http://online.wsj.com/documents/Madoff_SECdocs_20081217.pdf

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 9:51 a.m.

Response to post #7: I was not surprised when Markopolos said that organized crime is involved in this. It specializes in a lot of financial frauds, including Ponzi schemes, upfront loan fee scams, affinity group scams, pump and dump stock market manipulations, money laundering, and, of course, the multifarious gambling industry-related scams. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 6, 2009 @ 10:47 a.m.

The Madoff scandal is not your typical embezzelement scheme where the cozener uses investor money to live the high life. It appears that very little of the money went into Madoff's pocket.

By Burwell

The LA Times article below indicates that investors in a similar swindle faced lawsuits seeking the return of their fictitious profits. Many of the investors who believe Madoff completely wiped them out will eventually recover a large portion of their losses, primarily from investors like the couple above, who pulled their money out before the collapse.

By Burwell

================================

Burwell, Madoff lives in a $10 million dollar NY apartment, he has an $8 million dollar home in FL, and who the hell knows how much he has in Swiss accounts.

As for most people getting their money back (from other inverstors who pulled out or from what's left), you're living in Fantasyland. The trustee has said there is $95 million in assets and $50 BILLION losses. Do the math.

As for people who pulled out their money being forced to give it to others who lost theirs-sorry, that is not going to happen. These people were not the ones pulling this scam and there is no legal precedent for the claim you made-it will never happen.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 1:21 p.m.

Response to post #9: I don't know about New York law on this, but in California, the bankruptcy trustee can try to get money back from people who pulled it out within a certain time frame. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell Feb. 6, 2009 @ 5:09 p.m.

The claimed $50 billion in losses is sheer fantasy. The actual losses are not even a fraction of that amount. Madoff in essence ripped off one group of investors and transferred the money to another group of investors. For example, say Bruno Veeblefetzer invested $10 million with Madoff in 2000 and earned $15 million in profits through 2006. If Veeblefetzer closed his account on 1/1/2007 and withdrew $25 million ($10 million investment plus profits of $15 million), he's going to have to pay the bankruptcy trustee $15 million since the money was stolen from other investors. The $15 million will be distributed to bag holders who didn't get out before the collapse. When this deal is over there will be considerably more than $95 million to pay off defrauded investors. The money will come primarily from investors who either (1) closed their accounts and withdrew the cash, or (2) withdrew cash from their accounts in excess of their investments. There is going to be tons of money to pay off defrauded investors who lost everything.

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Burwell Feb. 6, 2009 @ 5:35 p.m.

Maybe Don should google the Slatkin case and locate an attorney who was involved with the case and find out how the bankruptcy court collects from investors who cashed out, and how far back the court can go. He could do what he does best, refine complex legal concepts into a brief article the average reader can grasp. I am sure there are many San Diegans who are not on the list who may have to return money they received from Madoff.

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Burwell Feb. 6, 2009 @ 5:52 p.m.

As for people who pulled out their money being forced to give it to others who lost theirs-sorry, that is not going to happen. These people were not the ones pulling this scam and there is no legal precedent for the claim you made-it will never happen.

======================

I'm sorry, but your analysis is wrong. Innocent investors in frauds who receive monies in excess of their investments can be forced under the law to return the excess cash. The cash is then redistributed to other investors who lost their all or part of their investments. This is routine in frauds like this one where there were no profits or earnings. As Don stated, the issue is how far back the bankruptcy court can reach to collect, not whether it can collect.

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 6, 2009 @ 6:51 p.m.

I don't think there is any money left, certainly not more than a few cents on the dollar.

If someone pulled out SUBTANTIALLY more than what they invested (and just their investment with no ROI) then I guess there may be some liability, but I doubt there will be very many, if any, examples of that.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 8:33 p.m.

Response to post #11: In any Ponzi scheme, the victims always claim huge, phantom losses, and the numbers don't add up. There are far more loss claims than was ever in the pot. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 8:36 p.m.

Response to post #12: Yes, there are probably some San Diegans who will have to return winnings. The last time I looked at this, there was confusion in New York on just what the time frame for returning winnings really is in this case. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 8:37 p.m.

Response to poset #13: I agree with Burwell on this one. Some will have to return money. But they will resist mightily. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 8:39 p.m.

Response to post #14: The BK trustee will go out all who pulled out money after a certain date. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 6, 2009 @ 9:52 p.m.

If people received more than their investment then I agree they may be liable.

I don't know if that is going to be the case, and I did not think there were any cases like that when I made my comment they would not be liable for returning money.

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Don Bauder Feb. 6, 2009 @ 11:08 p.m.

Response to post #19: Presumably, anyone who pulled all his/her money out made money. Madoff reported steady gains. Best, Don Bauder

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Anon92107 Feb. 9, 2009 @ 12:39 p.m.

Don, a root cause of the current failure of American Democracy in Washington is the failures of all of our institutions to focus on protecting and preserving humanity instead of letting greed rule.

One of the worst-case consequences of our institutionalized greed is that some of the people that Bernie Madoff stole from were survivors of the nazi holocaust and Madoff forced them to endure one more atrocity in their lives because of the failures of congress that has even allowed him to continue to live like royalty.

To make their atrocities against the public good even worse congress has been performing theatrical CYA of themselves by publicly condemning the SEC, but the truth is that congress failed to perform oversight over the SEC and too many other federal agencies.

The key fact is that Congressmen/women in both parties failed to perform their obligation of “Checks and Balances” over the Bush White House thus causing the recession.

This scenario deserves the highest condemnation of our congressional and judicial systems, but as TV reporting continues to document it appears that there is little hope that our government will save us from even more unbearable economic disaster, that is unless President Obama is capable of a miracle in Washington at last.

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Don Bauder Feb. 9, 2009 @ 12:46 p.m.

Response to post #21: Congress has never given the SEC enough money to do its job. The reason is that Congresspersons get their pockets lined by the same lobbyists and lawyers who line SEC lawyers' pockets. So the question remains: had Congress given the SEC sufficient funds, would SEC lawyers actually have done their jobs? I doubt it. Best, Don Bauder

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Time_on_my_hands Feb. 9, 2009 @ 2:41 p.m.

SEC Enforcement Director Linda Chatman Thomsen resigned today. She was one of the deer in the headlights brought before the congressional subcomittee last week who couldn't/wouldn't talk about the Madoff case. I suspect that we will see others resign and I hope that the media pays close attention to this ongoing story. While there is plenty of blame to go around, the selection of Christopher Cox as SEC Director by Bush was one of the most blatantly transparent and egregious acts I can recall in laissez faire government. Mary Schapiro needs to be under close scrutiny as she takes the helm.

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Don Bauder Feb. 9, 2009 @ 7:49 p.m.

Response to post #23: Yes, Linda Chatman Thomsen, head of SEC enforcement, resigned today, and none too soon. The hearings involving San Diego's Gary Aguirre will expose her as what she is (a tool of Wall St. firms and lawyers). The Madoff hearings should finish the job. Schapiro, I suspect, is no different. She should not have been named to the post. I think Obama knows that Wall St. is a sea of mendacity, but doesn't want to admit it to himself because it has been such a good source of campaign funds for him. The public must keep up the pressure. He will be forced to act. Best, Don Bauder

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Time_on_my_hands Feb. 10, 2009 @ 9:16 a.m.

Reportedly Thomsen's replacement may be Robert Khuzami, current General Counsel for Deutsche Bank and a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Khuzami is a republican who contributed $2,300 to McCain's 2008 presidential campaign. Schapiro was effusive in her praise of the departing Thomsen. Not good signs for a new leaf at the SEC; perhaps we need both Aguirre brothers to weigh in!

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Don Bauder Feb. 10, 2009 @ 11:28 a.m.

Response to post #25: Khuzami would be more of the same. Schapiro is more of the same. Gary Aguirre is doing his best to get the spotlight shone on this corrupt agency. Best, Don Bauder

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valueinvestingisdead Feb. 17, 2009 @ 8:14 p.m.

Hell, Brandes US Value is down 75% now. Only a little more to go and we our very own Madoff. This totally sucks! Value Investing is completely dead. Money management is dead. Equity investing is dead. The U.S. is dead. We are watching the collapse of the United States. Have you noticed that states are filing to become free of the U.S. Govt and their own nation?

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valueinvestingisdead Feb. 17, 2009 @ 8:15 p.m.

Hell, Brandes US Value is down 75% now. Only a little more to go and we have our very own Madoff. This totally sucks! Value Investing is completely dead. Money management is dead. Equity investing is dead. The U.S. is dead. We are watching the collapse of the United States. Have you noticed that states are filing to become free of the U.S. Govt and their own nation?

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2009 @ 10:12 p.m.

Response to post #27: There may be another 30 percent downside in the stock market. I said "may be" -- nothing is for sure. At that point, equities won't be dead. There could be some great bargains in dividend-paying blue chips. Might be now. The U.S. is neither dead nor moribund but the fat days are over. Best, Don Bauder

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jerome June 30, 2009 @ 1:32 p.m.

lots of fun reading these older comments on the biggest scum bag ever caught>BERNIE MADOFF i suspect we have many similar scumbags in SD unfortunately they are mostly in politics on some level and have many wealthy "friends" who have been raping investors and taxpayers for years.

THE BRIGHT SIDE FOR BERNIE IS HE WILL MAKE HIS PROCTOLOGISTS JOB MUCH EASIER AS TIME GOES BY WHILE HE ROTS IN PRISON AND BECOMES EVERYONES GIRLFRIEND......... AND YES POOR RUTH LEFT WITH ONLY 2 MIL

i believe in time more and more knowing people yes even here in SD , will end up getting the same treatment. now if we could honest up the city council and our development agencys and public service agencys ;cali may get out of debt.............

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