The Times has a story this morning about Thomas V. Liccardi, a small time accountant who had invested his whole life’s savings — under $1 million — with Bernard Madoff, who had supposedly turned the nest egg into more than $2 million.
Licardi, 86, and his wife have been living in a retirement home, paid for by the supposed profits that Madoff supposedly made for them.
Now that their life savings is gone, they have no idea where they will live:
“My whole life was wrapped up around that money,” he said. “I thought I could pay the bills for the next 10 years.”
Of the Madoff firm’s 8,000 customers, many will surely survive financially — universities, foundations, some who served on their boards or were regulars on the charity circuits in Manhattan and Palm Beach. But there are dozens, if not hundreds, of victims who poured their life savings into what turned out to be apparently phantom accounts.
This is no consolation to Mr. Liccardi, who now is wondering where he and his wife will live out their days. “I’m a small fry compared to most of the other people,” Mr. Liccardi said on Tuesday, “but I’m hurt more. I can’t work anymore or anything.”
Sitting in their little room at Fountains at RiverVue — the second door on the right, past the room marked “utility,” past the sign for the hair salon, down a hallway with prints of golfers and golf clubs and Grand Central Terminal—his wife, Edith, 84, interrupted. “He’s a nervous wreck,” Mrs. Liccardi, who had a small stroke last year and uses a walker, said of her husband.
With the Madoff money gone, Mr. Liccardi fears that he and his wife cannot afford to stay at the Fountains, where they have lived for a year and a half.
On the other side of the Madoff story, the Times yesterday ran with a piece about Sonja Kohn, a banker from Austria who regruited billions of dollars from European investors. Kohn has seemingly gone into hiding, presumably out of fear of the Russian oligarchs she may have unwittingly helped Madoff bilk.