New York, Aug.14 (ANI): The chief financial officer of the Hadassah, a Jewish volunteer organization, is said to have had a rip roaring affair with New York Ponzi King Bernard L. Madoff in the late 1990s, which in turn helped him to siphon off millions of dollars from its members.
According to the charity, it invested 40 million dollars with Madoff by the late 1990s and had also taken over 130 million dollars from its Madoff accounts and still had millions on the books when the vast Ponzi scheme was exposed last December.
According to the New York Times, what the charity did not know was that its CFO Sheryl Weinstein made those investments while having an affair with Madoff.
Weinstein, who has been married for 37 years, now reveals that relationship in her memoir titled "Madoff's Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me," which is scheduled for publication by St. Martin's Press at the end of August.
Hadassah's national president, Nancy Falchuk, told Hadassah's national board in a letter on Thursday that the group was "shocked to hear about Weinstein's personal admission.
"Indeed, we knew nothing of her relationship with Mr. Madoff until today," Falchuck said.
Ruth Madoff, who has been married to Bernard Madoff for almost 50 years, knew nothing about the "alleged affair," said Peter Chavkin, her lawyer.
Ira Lee Sorkin, a lawyer for Madoff, declined to comment.
According to John Murphy, the publisher's spokesman, Weinstein's relationship with Madoff "spanned 20 years." That would take it back to 1988, when Hadassah received a gift of about seven million dollars from a French donor, whom the organization has declined to name.
The Madoff scandal has raised questions in the nonprofit community about how well charities managed their investments and monitored their conflicts of interest, with some watchdog organizations saying that some groups left those decisions to small, clubby boards or influential insiders.
Hadassah has declined to identify the members of its investment advisory committee, other than to say they are "prominent and experienced financial and investment individuals" who serve without pay and are not members of its large governing board, whose membership rotates frequently.
Weinstein left the organization in 1997 and she and her husband have virtually lost everything they owned due to their involvement with Madoff. (ANI)