Carl Shapiro to return $625 million of Madoff money

Philanthropist Carl Shapiro and his family will return $625 million they made in investments with Bernard Madoff, The Boston Globe is reporting.

Shapiro, the Boston-area philanthropist who was among one of the biggest winners in the Madoff scam, gave heavily to Jewish causes after Mafoff made him a billionaire. He has maintained that he was unaware that he was investing in a Ponzi scheme.

Reports the Globe:

Shapiro sold his Kay Windsor Inc. dress business in 1971 for $21 million, and, with Madoff’s help, managed to parlay that into a fortune exceeding $1 billion. Over the years, Shapiro invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Madoff, and received hundreds of millions back in what has since been determined to be fictitious profits, according to the US Attorney filing. Government officials have gone after Shapiro and other wealthy Madoff clients to settle victim losses.

Through a spokesman, Shapiro, 97, declined comment. Shapiro has maintained that he had no idea Madoff was stealing from some investors to pay off others.

The Shapiros have claimed losing at least $545 million to Madoff, including $250 million Carl Shapiro gave Madoff just days before the Wall Street financier admitted to running a fraud in December 2008.

Shapiro, through his family foundation, has given away large chunks of his fortune, with numerous buildings and wings bearing his name, including at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Museum of Fine Arts. Because of the Madoff scandal, Shapiro family members have said they might not be able to continue such a high level of charitable giving.

Hat tip to, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

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