The Madoff family: Fraud from the boardroom to the kitchen


Over the past few weeks, I've been able to squeeze a lot of fun out of the Madoff scandal. From his clubby sales techniques to the expensive jewelry that he's sent out to the outrageous leniency that the courts have shown him, Bernie has been an almost bottomless font of disturbing details.

Through it all, Ruth Madoff has silently stood by her man, presenting a stoic, supportive façade to the media. Although Madoff's tendency to hire family members to run his company is well documented, Ruth has managed to avoid the spotlight and has stayed above the fray. The media, in return, has soft-pedaled the fact that she was the company's original bookkeeper and one of its directors.

Recently, another side of Ruth Madoff, has emerged. In the mid 1990's, she became involved with a cookbook. Titled The Great Chefs of America Cook Kosher, the tome offered Kosher haute cuisine recipes to the masses. Listed as executive editors, neither Madoff nor her friend Idee Schoenheimer were actually involved in writing the book. According to the "editor," Karen MacNeil, a food and wine expert, the book was something of a vanity project for Madoff, who "was interested in having her name on something that would allow for some sort of fun."

The greatest irony of all of this is that, 12 years after its release, the book is currently selling for more than its cover price. If only Bernie's funds had done so well!