Local Madoff victims react to sentencing

June 29, 2009 4:09:05 PM PDT
"I think what he's saying is I'm sorry I got caught."Bernard Madoff's courtroom apology to his victims didn't mean much to Dr. Gilbert Grossman, who, along with his late father-in-law, began investing with Madoff some 20 years ago.

For Dr. Grossman, even the 150 year prison sentence isn't payback enough. Especially since Ruth Madoff was allowed to keep $2-and-a-half million worth of assets.

"I think she should have nothing left. I think his sons, and it doesn't matter if they knew or they didn't know any assets they have was stolen money and they should have nothing left."

Charles Weg, of Cherry Hill, wasn't impressed by the harsh sentence either.

"I'm not glad that this individual that Madoff got sentenced to 150 years it's somewhat irrelevant."

Weg is worried about how his brothers and he will pay for the care their elderly mother needs now that the $50-thousand nest egg his late father saved for his whole life has disappeared.

"Unfortunately at this point in her life we may have to look ultimately at a Medicaid solution in a nursing home for her."

Weg holds out little hope that he and other small investors will ever get their money back even if the famous victims like Philadelphia's Kevin Bacon and Hollywood's Steven Spielberg do.

And like Weg, who needs to care for his mother now, non-profits, like Jewish Funds for Justice, which has an office in Roxborough, have immediate needs to fill even though nearly $4-million of their funds were tied up with Madoff.

The organization's CEO wouldn't comment on the sentence, but in an earlier statement, called the losses the Madoff scheme caused non-profits "catastrophic."

Madoff's victims can file for compensation but so far, the trustee in charge of liquidating Madoff's assets hasn't been able to estimate how much, if anything, they'll get back.

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