One of the biggest remaining mysteries out there is the current relationship between Bernie Madoff and his longtime cronies Michael Bienes and Frank Avelino. They started fundraising for him over 40 years ago They got in some trouble, but investigators never seemed to ask why two guys in Florida illegally raised money for Madoff if they thought he was running a totally legit investing shop.
We think that to unravel the mystery, we need to focus more on them — the first Madoff feeders.
Anyway, Michael Bienes got fabulously wealthy and ended up being a big donor down in Broward County. Well, post-Madoff arrest, he’s pulling back from his charitable activies. Bob Norman at the New-Times Of Broward Palm Beach has been digging the dirt
Michael Bienes, the fabulously wealthy Fort Lauderdale benefactor, abruptly resigned from the Performing Arts centre Authority board Wednesday with a one-sentence letter, according to a centre spokeswoman.
“We received the letter yesterday which said he was resigning, effective immediately,” said Broward centre of The Arts spokeswoman Jan Goodheart.
There’s very clearly trouble in paradise — and rumours are swirling among the county’s elite that Bienes, who has poured more than $30 million into various Broward County causes and has his name emblazoned on the Broward County Library and Holy Cross Hospital, is dropping out of public life altogether. His leaving the PACA board — where he served with big wigs like Austin Forman and Marti Huizenga — is a pretty signifcant move, after all.
Norman doesn’t come out and ask it directly, but we will: If Bienes’ relationship with Madoff was something that ended in 1993, why should the Madoff bust be affecting him today?
Bernie Madoff’s Earliest Accomplices?