10 Celebrities who were Victims of Bernie Madoff's $50B Ponzi Scheme
In December 2008, Bernard Madoff, former chairman of the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) and founder of the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, admitted that the wealth management arm of this business was actually a Ponzi Scheme, leading to his arrest and the birth of the Madoff Investment Scandal which involved the hefty amount of $50 billion. Bankrate reports that six years after Madoff's conviction, thousands of victims, including 10 of the biggest celebrities who were hit, are still trying to recover from their losses.
1. Steven Spielberg
His Wunderkinder Foundation lost an undisclosed amount. About 70 percent of the interest and dividend of this foundation income came from the Madoff firm in 2006.
2. Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
The amount lost by the stars of "Footloose" and "The Closer "was also undisclosed. According to Sedgwick, even if they were not financially destroyed, they did lose hard-earned money they thought was in a safe place.
3. Elie Wiesel
The foundation founded by this author and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel's Foundation for Humanity, lost $15.2 million, referring "substantially all" of its assets. Wiesel had this to say about Madoff: "Could I forgive him? No."
4. Sandy Koufax
This Hall of Fame Dodgers pitcher, together with other big names in baseball, became Madoff's victims and lost an undisclosed amount.
5. Eric Roth
This Hollywood screenwriter who has been credited with "Forrest Gump" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" admitted he suffered "massive losses" linked to the scam. He commented to the Los Angeles Times: "The tragedy is the people who lost their life savings and their dreams."
6. Larry King
While this former talk show host was on Madoff's client list, he confided to the TV news show, "Extra", that he was lucky enough to get back the money he had invested with Madoff.
7. Zsa Zsa Gabor
The actress lost $10 million. Frederic von Anhalt, Gabor's husband, expressed his feelings by saying "If I was in New York, I would take a baseball stick and hit this terrible man over the head."
8. Jeffrey Katzenberg
Katzenberg, who heads DreamWorks Animation and produced "Shrek" films lost undisclosed amount in millions. "What it has done to other people is terrible. It's destroyed many people's lives. People that I know," he said after the scam broke out.
9. John Malkovich
This actor described that he was "ruined" financially by this scam. In 2011, he went to court to reclaim the $2.3 million he lost.
10. Eliot Spitzer
The family real estate firm owned by this former governor of New York lost an undisclosed amount due to the scam.