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Lappin reopens foundation, restores retirement savings

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Boston-area Jewish philanthropist reopened his charitable foundation, which had closed because of the Bernard Madoff scam.

Robert Lappin also is using his own money to restore the retirement savings of his employees lost in the fraud.

Lappin on Wednesday donated $5 million to the retirement plans of the 60 employees of his company, Shetland Properties, and his foundation, the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, the Boston Globe reported. Madoff, now serving 150 years in a federal prison, had managed the employees’ 401(k) plans.

He also reopened his foundation, which funds Jewish education and culture programs on the North Shore of Boston. The foundation had closed in December after the revelation of Madoff’s crimes.

"I wanted to do the right thing," Lappin told the Globe. "And I feel I’ve done the right thing, and that to me is my reward."

Lappin would not reveal how much money he personally lost to Madoff, but said his net worth was now less than $10 million, one-tenth of its pre-Madoff value.

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