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This is the story of the parents of a friend of ours. His father, Frank, was born during World War II in Europe. His family fled to the U.S. before the end of the war and settled in NYC. Frank was always a hustler (in a good way) and from an early age sold lemonade on the street to neighbors, had a newspaper route and delivered for a local pharmacy. He graduated high school but did not go to college and with a little loan from family and friends opened a market. the deli did well and he was friendly with one of his customers, Lilly, who became his wife. Lily worked as a secretary for a large firm in Manhattan. They had two boys. Frank’s business grew and he had a loyal following and over the years opened several other markets. He and has wife saved and invested and when they had a sizable amount of money they decided to invest with one of the stars in the financial community, Bernie Madoff. Thing looked very good for years. The statements they received showed that their investments were growing.
And then then the bottom fell out with the unraveling of Bernie Madoff and his ponzi schemes. Frank sold his business a few years ago and Lily also retired. Now in their sixties they lost almost everything they worked for their entire lives. They are faced with downsizing to a much smaller home and going back to work, if they can find any work. Hopefully they can recover some of the money that he stole from them.
I read that the courts seized Bernie and Ruth Madoff’s assets including homes in Manhattan, Montauk, Palm Beach and France. The Madoffs lost basically all their cars, boats, planes, jewelry, etc.
Madoff faces a maximum of 150 years in jail. It strikes me as meaningless. He will probably die in jail no matter what the sentence is. The courts should find a creative way to make him pay back the people he stole from. Maybe Bernie and Ruth can become servants to their victims. Clean up, take the garbage out, set the table, cook the meals and more.