Among Madoff's victims, some from Tampa Bay
The names of thousands of apparent customers of Bernard Madoff -- charged with running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme -- are now public and include legendary baseball player Sandy Koufax (in photo with white cap, with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre), actors from Kevin Bacon (see second photo) to Zsa Zsa Gabor, and lots of names from Florida and the Tampa Bay area.
Among the thousands of others on the roster are U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey; Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets baseball team; imprisoned class-action lawyer Melvyn Weiss; Madoff's sons, Mark and Andrew and their children as well as Madoff's brother, Peter. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation, Columbia University and the charity Jewish Funds for Justice are among other customers listed.
The 162-page document was filed late Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The customer list contains names and addresses of individuals and institutions presumed to be Madoff clients within at least the past 12 months. No details were included on the amounts of money invested. Lists were put together by AlixPartners LLP, a firm specializing in bankruptcy claims support that is assisting the trustee.
Plenty of names appear on the list from various cities in the Tampa Bay area. Like most investors, many area people appear to have handed funds to Madoff as part of family trusts and other inheritance-related investments. One Tampa couple named Blossom and Edward Liebowitz is listed, for example, and their investment is listed as the "Children's Education Trust." Combined, about two dozen Tampa investors are listed. Two in St. Petersburg are listed, including the defense firm Conax Florida Corp., and four are listed in Clearwater. People in Brandon and Largo also are mentioned.
Since the list does not include financial numbers, we don't know the extent of the Ponzi damage. But most people did not invest tiny amounts with Madoff (shown in photo coming out of federal court). No doubt, some people are hurting around the Tampa Bay area. The court cautioned the 162-page list is not complete.
(Photos from AP.)
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist