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Crimes of Bernie Madoff still resonate in South Florida more than a decade later

'Impact of Madoff's scams and his schemes are still felt today," Rabbi Barry Silver says
Bernie Madoff
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 17:24:35-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — News of the death of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff had many of his victims reflecting on the case which brought anger and pain to many.

The financer was convicted more than a decade ago in one of the nation's biggest investment frauds after defrauding more than 40,000 people.

"It had ripple effects throughout the community," said Rabbi Barry Silver.

Silver said Palm Beach County was one of the many communities linked to Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Rabbi Barry Silver
Rabbi Barry Silver said the impact of Bernie Madoff's schemes is still felt today in South Florida.

"I was with someone today when the news broke [of Madoff's death], and that person told me that she had quite a bit of money that was put in a retirement account that was gone," Silver said.

He said as information started to be released a decade ago, many of the victims were linked to the Jewish community in South Florida.

"Madoff was a very high profile Jewish personality, so anti-Semites and those with negative stereotypes already built-in, used things like this to reinforce the negative," Silver said.

In depth look at how Bernie Madoff's scheme unraveled

Silver said people who invested in retirement, financial plans and even Jewish organizations all lost millions.

"I can assure you that the impact of Madoff's scams and his schemes are still felt today," Silver said.

The fraud was a rude awakening to many investors, Silver said. He believes the lessons learned have helped people be smarter with their finances today.

"It has shaken people's confidence in institutions that they normally wouldn't think about," Silver said.