Madoff's Alleged Ponzi Scheme Destroys Life Savings, Sends Elderly Back to Work

"You either accept something or you don't," Thiermann told ABC News. "Hey, I still have a house over my head and still have food on my table. All you have to do is turn around and look at the millions of people around the world who are suffering."

Thiermann, who was a regular customer at the local Ben Lomond Market, was offered a job as a greeter after the store's owner found out about his loss.

"I could get angry but what does that do? Turn around to work and try to find some work," Thiermann said. Some of the money he lost, he said, would have gone to his children.

Now, he's working for himself again, but doesn't expect "to recoup [his] losses" at the $10 per hour part-time job.

Former Brick Layer Sounds Off: 'Madoff is Low-Life, Dirt Bag"...

Retired bricklayer Joe Rubino of Long Island, New York, is not as accepting as Thiermann.

"He's a low life, dirt bag, piece of dog crap, is what he is," Rubino told ABC's New York affiliate WABC describing Madoff. "He's under house arrest. He's got servants, he's got butlers, maids, serving him lobsters. I'm under house arrest and I did nothing wrong. I can't go out because I can't buy gas."

Rubino and his wife invested around $400,000, their life savings, with Madoff more than 20 years ago, WABC reported.

Like the Fruchts, Rubino received regular statements touting positive returns building up to one in December that said Rubino had more than $1 million in assets.

"I have it all on paper. But you can start a fire with it. It's all garbage, that's what it is," he said.

Now, Rubino said he has around $4,000 and few job prospects.

"A guy like myself, a brick layer, with a broken back, where do you go?" he said. "It's just horrible."

Man Sues Ex-Wife After His Side of Divorce Settlement Lost With Madoff

A New York lawyer this week sued his ex-wife for $2.7 million he gave her for her half of their Madoff account. Steven Simkin claims he and his former wife believed their Madoff account was worth $5.4 million. It is now virtually worthless.

The lawsuit seeks to have his ex-wife return money he paid her in their 2006 divorce, according to the Associated Press. Simkin did not return a call for comment.

According to Simkin's court papers, "Laura obtained a windfall and Steven did not receive an equitable share of the couple's joint assets... It remains only fair and equitable for Laura to shoulder her share of that harm."

Kids Forced to Leave School Friends

Diane Peskin, 44, told ABC News she and her husband were among those who lost nearly all of their life savings after investing with Madoff.

The Madoff scandal means she and her 66-year-old husband are back on the job market, they may have to take their two children out of private school and may have to sell their house and move out of Bethlehem, Pa.

She said her 10-year-old daughter cries in school because she does not want to leave her school and friends.

"We did what we were supposed to do. We worked hard and saved," she said. "I feel bad for everyone, especially my children, who have lost the security of their futures."

Peskin said it took her and her husband 30 years to build up $3.2 million in retirement savings. Roger Peskin founded a small magazine called Gallery Guide in his parents' garage, eventually building it into a nationwide magazine listing art gallery and museum shows.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...