Eminent billionaire and philantropist Bernard L. Madoff was arrested two days ago by federal agents for perpetrating the largest fraud scheme in Wall Street history, with losses estimated at $50 billion. Madoff was an extremely influential securities trader.
According to charges against Mr. Madoff, his firm paid off earlier investors with money from new investors, fitting the classic definition of a Ponzi scheme. It unraveled as markets declined and many investors who lost money elsewhere sought to withdraw money from their investments with Mr. Madoff.
The bulk of his clients were members of the mostly Jewish, exclusive Palm Beach Country Club, where Madoff met Carl J. Shapiro and his son-in-law Robert M. Jaffe years ago. For those unaware, the Shapiro family and Mr. Carl J in particular have donated countless millions to Brandeis and have financed what seems like every building on campus – the new Shapiro admissions center, the new science building, the Shapiro student center… the list continues.