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Man recounts losing nearly everything to Madoff's ponzi scheme

Man Recounts Harrowing Experience After Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme

The Bernie Madoff scandal came to light over five years ago in December of 2008. The $65B ponzi scheme came crashing down and jailed Madoff -- but half a decade later, people are still feeling the pain.

Katie Couric spoke with Richard Shapiro, who lost 80 percent of his net worth. He said the first 30 days were so awful that he didn't leave the house much. He ended up losing 30 pounds, putting his house on the market and getting a divorce.

Shapiro explained that he already had a personal account through Madoff, but he wanted a pension account too, so he called 'Uncle Bernie.' He felt like he was one of the chosen ones when he was accepted.

The Wall Street Journa also spoke with Shapiro, who explained that he'd been in the commercial real estate business his entire life. He opened up about calling a friend to confirm Madoff was involved in a ponzi scheme: ''Are you telling me all my money's gone?' And his answer was, 'it looks that way.'I became depressed, I panicked, what was I going to do? How was I going to pay my bills? How was I going to do everything? What would I have left?'

Shapiro says he ultimately ended up selling his claims. He doesn't know exactly know how much he got back, but he estimated maybe 50 percent. He also called Madoff a 'financial rapist.'

Shapiro said this event was so earth shattering, he doesn't know if he can ever get past what happened. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

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jaluty February 10 2014 at 5:55 AM

Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? He's hardly the hardest hit of Madoff's victims. He needs to quit whinning.

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a1948ant February 10 2014 at 7:14 AM

They were all just greedy and fell for his lies.

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1 reply
granaryst a1948ant February 10 2014 at 7:22 AM

Like most Americans fell for Obama's lies. Now we will all suffer for their stupidity. Vote against the Democrats because they all supported this rat.

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1 reply
Rick granaryst February 10 2014 at 8:37 AM

Where you in a coma during the eight years that Busheee and the boys destroyed this country???

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Mary February 10 2014 at 7:28 AM

P. T. Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute and two to take him" It seems that some just want to get rich quick without fully investigating whom they are giving their hard earned money over to. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Hearing his story, and while I do feel some sympathy for him, as a grocery store cashier, I was not expecting millions like him going forward in my life.

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1 reply
twalsh4440 Mary February 10 2014 at 8:39 AM


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frozenbull February 10 2014 at 6:59 AM

Don't tell me no one knew what Madoff was up to. Returns were way to large to be real .

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1 reply
David frozenbull February 10 2014 at 7:08 AM

Watch 'American Greed' on CNBC. You will see that it happens more often than you think. People are always looking for that pie in the sky, hence there will always be someone to exploit that desire.

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nedlam6 February 10 2014 at 7:39 AM

too bad.

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1 reply
karaokecdgs nedlam6 February 10 2014 at 7:49 AM

your a knucklehead

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James February 10 2014 at 6:48 AM

I think the irony of "the chosen ones" is deliberate here. In Jewish business culture, the pressure is on the customer to investigate and decide the worthiness of a deal, so if you get deceived or cheated, it's your own fault.

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kenmac7 February 10 2014 at 6:26 AM

I had a business deal that went south and wound up costing me fifty per cent of my retirement. It hurt a lot at the time. Now in my retirement years I am much more frugal and don't travel as much as I had hoped, but I am getting along OK and have gotten over that bitter pill - life is good.

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millaburg February 10 2014 at 6:17 AM

" He doesn't know exactly know how much he got back, but he estimated maybe 50 percent."

So, does that mean he's got 25 mil instead of 50?

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fishhead80 February 10 2014 at 6:09 AM

You think that's bad. Well Corzine had something like a rediculous amount of farmers' savings "disappear" and Obama's DOJ under Holder refused to even charge him with jaywalking, because Corzine was a donator and bundler for Obama. But Corzine is a free man and Obama is still President. HMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmm

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thomastremel February 10 2014 at 7:26 AM

he had to sell his planes, oh my God, that is terribly wrong.....

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2 replies
karaokecdgs thomastremel February 10 2014 at 7:49 AM


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1 reply
reginatorw karaokecdgs February 10 2014 at 8:28 AM

Haven't you kicked the dog this morning?

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Tommy Boy thomastremel February 10 2014 at 8:40 AM

Exactly, Tom. Not satisfied with what he "had". Wanted more.

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