While thousands have been laid off across Wall Street in the past twelve months, one group of lucky employees at a prominent financial firm have managed to keep their jobs—despite the fact that their firm has almost certainly been wiped out, lost every client and they have no work left to do.
So where are these folks who get paid not to work employed? With arch-swindler Bernard Madoff’s firm.
The New York Post reports that employees at Madoff’s securities are still showing up to work. Their pay checks keep coming in—they haven’t missed one yet. But the phones don’t work, the computers are unplugged and they spend most of their day waiting around to answer questions from government investigators.
From the New York Post:
The workers are still being paid in full and have not missed a paycheck. Last month, court-appointed trustee Irving Picard asked a bankruptcy judge to release $28 million in frozen assets for the administrative cost of liquidating the firm, which includes employee salaries. The money was released on Monday. Prior to that, $883,000 had been made available for salaries.
Although Madoff had about 250 employees, it’s unclear how many remain in the office and on payroll. One employee said he sees “dozens” of people every day. Top managers – including whistleblowers Andrew and Mark Madoff, Madoff’s own sons – have vanished from the office, and it’s not clear if they’re still being paid.
Picard did not respond to numerous messages requesting comment.
“We’re guessing the paychecks will stop coming in one or two weeks,” a third employee said. “We don’t know what’s going on with retirement or health care or any of that. We worked hard for decades. We believed Bernie to be a good man. Now we’re stuck. We feel very betrayed and upset.”
It sounds to us that they are running through about $1M a week in salaries, but that’s just a guess.