Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

Sarasota Ponzi schemer Arthur Nadel dies in prison

Arthur G. Nadel, the Sarasota money manager who shattered hundreds of lives through a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $162 million, died Monday. He was 79.

Nadel died at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, where he was serving a 14-year prison sentence.

Prison officials didn't cite a cause of death. Nadel, who had battled heart problems for years, was admitted to the hospice unit last week and had spent time in the prison medical center.

"Dying behind prison walls is a very hard way for anyone to leave this world," said Mark Gombiner, Nadel's federally appointed defender. "Arthur had a troubled life, but he took responsibility for his actions and he faced his punishment with dignity."

Dubbed a "mini-Madoff" after schemer Bernard Madoff, Nadel was the key player in what became the largest investment swindle in southwest Florida history.

He ran six hedge funds in downtown Sarasota that collapsed in January 2009 after some investors tried to retrieve their money.

He then fled town, leaving behind notes threatening suicide and including fears that others might want to kill him.

Nadel turned himself in two weeks later. He later pleaded guilty to 15 federal counts, and was sentenced in October 2010 to what Gombiner said was tantamount to a life sentence.

Nadel and partners Neil and Christopher Moody boasted that their hedge funds were worth about $330 million for nearly 400 investors. In fact, it was $500,000 at the end.

Nadel pocketed more than $100 million in fees and profits from the funds.

He never gave a full accounting of how the Ponzi scheme came about.

Burton Wiand, the receiver gathering money for burned investors, said Nadel's death would have no impact on his efforts. "We were not relying upon him as a witness for any significant matters at all."

Many investors lost their life savings in the scheme. Some had to sell homes to raise cash. Others canceled retirement plans, some indefinitely.

David Walters, an Ocala retiree who lost $800,000, is one of many who thought Nadel got off too easily.

"I can't say I grieve for him," Walters said. "I do wish that he would have had more time to contemplate his crimes."

Michael J. Sullivan, a retired Chicago businessman who lost $1 million, was the only investor who spoke at Nadel's sentencing.

"The damage he inflicted on people was so overwhelming, it's hard to conceive," Sullivan said Tuesday.

In a 2011 statement to the Herald-Tribune, Nadel said he never set out to commit crimes.

"I did not plan a Ponzi scheme," he said. "At the age of 70 and in poor health, I would hardly have any expectation that I would become the head of a multimillion-dollar operation, and even less that it would take a crime to achieve it."

The Butner prison complex where Nadel died is now home to Madoff, who is serving a 150-year sentence for the largest financial fraud in history.

Comments
Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

Duke Energy announces new Florida leadership

ST. PETERSBURG — The head of Duke Energy Florida is leaving his post to take a new role with the utility’s parent company June 1, the company announced on Wednesday. Harry Sideris, 47, was appointed this week to serve as vice president a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

Yelp search results reflected racist stereotype that Asian American restaurants serve cat and dog

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Published: 04/25/18
As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

As more emotional support animals fly on U.S. airlines, Congress eyes new ways to tighten the leash

WASHINGTON — With hundreds of thousands of emotional support animals taking to the skies on U.S. airlines, Congress may start pulling a tighter leash.Two new legislative options emerged this week to address a hairy issue for American Airlines, Southw...
Published: 04/25/18

Comcast challenges Murdoch with rival bid for U.K.-based Sky

LONDON — U.S. media giant Comcast on Wednesday offered $30.7 billion for Sky PLC, topping a bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and setting up a bidding war for Britain’s biggest satellite TV company.Comcast said it would pay approximately $17...
Published: 04/25/18
Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

Sprouts Farmers Market to open new store in Pasco County

TRINITY — Pasco County will be getting its first Sprouts Farmers Market, the organic grocery chain announced Wednesday. The new store will open at the Village at Mitchell Ranch on State Road 54 and Little Road. Officials with the speciality st...
Published: 04/25/18
Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

Circle K launching own gas at eight Hillsborough locations

TAMPA — Circle K is converting the gas station portion of eight of its Hillsborough locations to Circle K fuel. Previously, the fuel was provided by other brands, such as Shell. The new Circle K branding also brings with it the Canadian-owned conveni...
Published: 04/25/18
Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida leads other hurricane-prone states in quality of its building codes

Florida has the strongest residential building codes among 18 coastal states, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Florida’s rating is 95, almost three times higher than lowest-ranked Texas. Other states wit...
Published: 04/25/18
Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Study: Tampa Bay homes in once ‘redlined’ neighborhoods worth half those in other areas

Times staffRedlining’ — banks’ refusal to make mortgage loans in certain areas — still has a huge effect on housing values even though the practice was banned 50 years ago. According to Zillow, a Tampa Bay house in a once-redlined area is worth less ...
Published: 04/25/18
Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opens first Tampa restaurant, Nebraska Mini-Mart grab-and-go coming soon

NOW OPEN: TEX-MEX CHAIN CHUY’SThe Austin, Texas-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s opened its first Tampa restaurant on Tuesday, giving away free Chuy’s for two for a year to the first 50 customers. I know, we missed it, it’s a bummer, but we can still visit...
Published: 04/25/18
Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

Clearwater looks to move out of City Hall to speed up Imagine Clearwater waterfront redevelopment

CLEARWATER — Elected officials have talked about relocating City Hall from the downtown bluff for a good 30 years. Now there’s a jolt of urgency to actually do it.Voters backed a referendum in November that essentially greenlighted the $55 million re...
Published: 04/25/18