Madoff fraud closes Picower Foundation

21 12 2008

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The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme has claimed a victim close to Neuroscience.  The Boston Globe reports that the Picower Foundation had a substantial amount of their endowment invested with Madoff and the losses are suffiecient to  shut down the foundation’s operations immediately. In 2002, the Picower Foundation gave the largest single gift MIT had ever received to that time, $50 million, which currently supports neuroscience research at the  Picower Center for Learning and Memory. I did two years of undergraduate research at the Center for Learning and Memory (the pre-gift name) and Brain Windows has featured research by current PCLM faculty.

The PCLM should be ok, as it appears the gift has been financially mangaed by MIT since 2002.  However, a recurring $200,000 annual gift for support of underrepresented minorities in their doctoral studies in science at MIT will not continue.


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13 05 2009
andrewhires

The story gets MUCH STRANGER!

Jeffry M. Picower is being sued for $5.1 BILLION. Apparently $12B was withdrawn from Madoff’s fund over 2008. Picower is accused of “participating in a web of transparently false transactions with Mr. Madoff that were aimed at compensating him for ‘perpetuating the Ponzi scheme’ at the expense of other investors.

In 1999, for example, one of Mr. Picower’s accounts posted an annual profit of more than 950 percent, the suit said. That account was one of two that reported annual returns from 1996 to 1999 ranging from 120 percent to more than 550 percent, the suit said.

In other accounts, backdated transactions generated billions of dollars of fictional year-end losses and one account grew by 30 percent in just two weeks in 2006 — thanks to trades that purportedly occurred months before the account was even opened.”

What would we do without the New York Times?

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