As End Neared, Madoff Shook Down Friends

Desperate for cash, Bernie promoted new funds, begged partners
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2008 9:51 AM CST
Bernard Madoff enters his house through a crowd of cameras yesterday in New York.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – As his fraudulent fund was sinking, a desperate Bernard Madoff demanded friends and investors pour in more cash, the New York Post reports. Carl Shapiro, the first person to invest with Madoff, got a call, as did his son-in-law, and close Madoff friend Robert Jaffe. Shapiro is reportedly among the biggest losers in the scandal, having invested some $545 million.

Jaffe was a partner of Madoff’s, sometimes dubbed “the Recruiter” because he ran a firm whose purpose was to hawk Madoff’s wares. Nor were these allies the only ones Madoff shook down; he was simultaneously concocting new higher-leverage, higher-return funds. Investors say they were told they’d be shut out of future Madoff products if they didn’t buy in, or withdrew existing investments.