Foundation headed by widow of Madoff’s largest beneficiary grants $104 million


(JTA) — Barbara Picower, the widow of Jeffry Picower, the largest beneficiary of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, has awarded $104 million in grants over two years through a new foundation.

The grants from the JPB Foundation have centered on medical research, poverty and the environment, Forbes reported, according to tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Barbara Picower is listed as president of the Manhattan-based foundation.

Four years ago the estate of Jeffrey Picower agreed to return $7.2 billion to Madoff’s victims. The figure is the difference between the amount of cash that the Jewish investor put into his account with Madoff and the amount he withdrew.

Jeffrey Picower, whose foundation gave to Jewish causes before it was wiped out by the revelation of Madoff’s fraud, was found dead of a heart attack in his swimming pool in October 2009.

Madoff, 76, is serving a 150-year prison sentence in federal prison in Butner, N.C.

The JPB Foundation had $1.1 billion in assets at the end of 2012, more than the Picower Foundation had when it was shut down in 2010, making it one of the 40 largest U.S. foundations.

Tax records show the JPB Foundation has been funded by $1.2 billion in contributions in 2011 and 2012 from the estate of Jeffry Picower, the total after Barbara Picower agreed to return money to Madoff’s victims.


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