With friends like these, who needs…
In his last desperate weeks at the helm of the biggest Ponzi in history, Bernie Madoff tried to save the scheme by screwing the man who got him started, 95-year-old Carl Shapiro. 10 days before Madoff’s arrest, Shapiro sent him $250 million. It has now vaporized.
The WSJ: It isn’t clear whether the sum was a loan or an investment, though people familiar with the matter say Mr. Madoff told Mr. Shapiro that he would be paid back quickly with interest or a gain. But none of the money was repaid, according to the people…
Mr. Shapiro might have seemed like an ideal saviour . Mr. Shapiro helped Mr. Madoff launch his investing career, in 1960 giving Mr. Madoff — then 22 years old — tens of thousands of dollars to invest. Mr. Madoff did well with the investments, and Mr. Shapiro invested more over time. The two became friends. They often ate lunch together at the Palm Beach Country Club.
A successful entrepreneur who sold his Kay Windsor clothing business to Vanity Fair Corp. in 1971, Mr. Shapiro built his fortune over the years to hundreds of millions of dollars through investing and other businesses. He now lives in Palm Beach with his wife, Ruth. The couple has donated millions of dollars to Brandeis University, the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer centre, the Hospice of Palm Beach, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and other charities.
Not anymore. The $250 million joins $150 million of Shapiro’s money that Madoff had already vaporized, along with another $100 million from his charity. All in, that’s $500 million from a single “friend.”
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