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By now, if you do not know who Bernie Madoff is, chances are you have been hibernating in a cave for the winter. This self professed financial scammer has been front page news world wide for his purported $50,000,000,000 fraud. The list of investors who were conned by Madoff include largely sophisticated, well heeled investors. It also includes charitable organizations – including some in the legal arena. The JEHT Foundation, which gave away $24,000,000 to groups such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic and the American Civil Liberties Union, is closing its doors due to losses sustained through its investments with Madoff.

Why didn’t anyone see this coming? That will undoubtedly be an issue resolved in lawsuits yet to come. Some folks think that they did, but the regulators apparently were not reading what they said. In 2001, Barron’s magazine published an article which questioned his fund’s achievements. It was only after Madoff blew the whistle on himself, however, that the regulators moved in. Let’s hope that the lessons learned from this scandal are never forgotten.

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