Rob Eshman, editor of the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles, said the long-term impact on the Jewish community "will be devastating. It breaks the bonds of trust and sense of community."
Large financial institutions weren't immune. Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland reported an estimated $612 million exposure to potential Madoff-related losses on Monday. Japan's Nomura Holdings and France's Natixis said they suffered losses.
Although the list of firms facing potential Madoff losses includes Sterling Equities, the real estate investment firm of New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, the Mets said the fallout doesn't affect the ballclub's operations.
But some smaller investors weren't as fortunate.
Kellner, a senior economics scholar at Dowling College on Long Island, faces "a very serious impact on his retirement plans," said Mulholland, his attorney.
How much, if anything, victims might recover remains an open question. Investigators from the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies are sifting through records of Madoff's investment business.
Brad Friedman, an attorney at Milberg LLP, a New York law firm representing dozens of clients facing millions of dollars in Madoff-related losses, said money managers who steered clients to Madoff without first conducting due diligence checks "could have liability" themselves.
Contributing: Jeffrey Stinson and Peter Barzilai