Nonprofit Newswire | Madoff Effects on Charity Still Rolling Out

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March 2, 2010; Boston Globe | It’s getting harder and harder these days to figure out who are the real victims of the Madoff scam. While many innocent investors got fleeced thanks to Madoff’s financial hocus-pocus, the damage apparently continues to nonprofits whose financial security is being threatened anew. On Monday a federal judge ruled that Boston philanthropist Carl Shapiro, who pocketed $1 billion in gains from investing with Madoff, might have to return a portion of the money considered ill-gotten. If he does, Boston-area nonprofits expecting payments from Shapiro’s family philanthropy may find themselves coming up short. Thomas McLaughlin, a specialist in charities and a vice president with the Nonprofit Finance Fund in Boston, told the Boston Globe, that nonprofits expecting the Shapiros to honor their pledges would be wiser to discount “the possibility of getting the rest of those dollars.’’ Any glimmer of hope for Shapiro, and his donors, rests on expected appeals. David Bernfeld, a New York lawyer representing other former Madoff investors, said, “Everyone understands that this complicated issue will ultimately be decided in the appellate court, not the bankruptcy court. We’re disappointed but remain hopeful.’’ Anyone want to bet?—Bruce Trachtenberg