Big Names Bilked in $50B Madoff Fraud
Swindler was money manager of choice in elite circles
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2008 5:59 AM CST
Investors inquiring about their money, and others, gather in the lobby of where Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, have their offices Friday, Dec. 12, 2008, in New York.    (AP Photo/Diane Bondareff)
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(Newser) – Some of America's wealthiest people are finding themselves a lot poorer in the wake of the Bernard Madoff fund scandal, the Wall Street Journal reports. Madoff strived to become known as the investor of choice in elite circles, and counted New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and GMAC chairman Ezra Wilkin among the clients he swindled out of a total that could reach $50 billion.

Madoff was well-respected and trusted among the wealthy, leading many to invest huge chunks of their fortunes with him. Schools, charities, and country clubs are among the victims and some families have had their entire savings wiped out. "There are people who were very, very well off a few days ago who are now virtually destitute," one lawyer told the New York Times.