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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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