National

Bernie Madoff client list is out, and a lot of people are on it

Reead the client list.

The list of customers of swindling suspect Bernard Madoff includes prominent car dealer Norman Braman, Pasadena Homes builder Leonard Miller and hotelier Stephen Muss.

Then there's Adele Fox.

The widow from Tamarac stopped buying clothes. She can't go to Bonefish Grill anymore. She can't even afford to help her grandson pay for college.

Everything, including a settlement from her dead husband's asbestos case, is wiped out. ''It's just awful,'' said Fox, 85. "All my savings are just gone.''

Peppered among the names of celebrities and industrialists from around the world are hundreds of South Florida residents who invested their money -- in some cases their savings -- with the brokerage firm that exploded in the nation's largest Ponzi scheme.

The list, revealed for the first time on Wednesday in bankruptcy court in New York, includes 562 clients from Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

The impact on this area ''has been tremendous,'' said Broward securities lawyer Mark Tepper. ``To a lot of the people here, it's been life changing.''

Madoff, 70, the once-prominent Nasdaq chairman who recruited clients from his home and private club in Palm Beach, is charged with securities fraud and remains under house arrest in his Manhattan apartment.

Of the 11,374 customers, nearly one in five -- or 2,070 -- are from Florida, the hardest hit state outside New York, according to a Miami Herald analysis of the list.

For many in South Florida, the disclosure of the names brings more embarrassment and anger in a widening case estimated to reach $50 billion in investment losses.

The list also shows for the first time the breadth and scope of a case that spans generations.

Related stories from McClatchy DC

  Comments