A Year Later, Only Bernie Madoff and Frank DiPascali Are Behind Bars

Angry investors in Ponzi scheme want to know when they'll get their money back

December 9, 2009, 5:09 PM

Dec. 10, 2009 — -- It was one year ago today in a New York office building that Bernie Madoff brought his two sons into his office and confessed that he was a crook.

A year later, the only people behind bars for Madoff's Ponzi scheme are Madoff and his right hand man, Frank DiPascali, who was his chief financial officer.

So for his thousands of victims, it has been a year in which few have received any money back and none has received what could be called justice.

And the anger comes out in many different ways.

Singer Cynthia Crain lost her life savings to the scam and now Madoff is part of her cabaret act.

'Is there anyone out there who doesn't know who Bernie Madoff is?" Crain will ask from the stage. "The guy who put the P in Ponzi. The bull in Bull Market. And the scum in Scumdog Billionaire."

Click here for complete Blotter coverage of Madoff and his Ponzi scheme.Wednesday on Capitol Hill, other Madoff investors demanded better treatment from the government.

More than half the investors have had their claims for losses denied by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the agency that insures brokerage accounts, because they took out more money than they put in over the years.

"These people are being victimized by the government," Madoff investor Helen Chaitman testified at a House Financial Services Committee hearing. "This is blood money.These people are entitled to keep what they took out."

And many others who qualify are still waiting for payment from the SIPC. The SIPC's president, Stephen Harbeck, said an even longer wait was in store.

Asked what a reasonable time frame "despite all the hardships" for repayment would be, Harbeck said "a year."

" My clients can't wait that long," said John Landers, a lawyer for Madoff investors. "They don't have this time for them this is their only resource, people are in nursing homes."Click here to go behind the scenes of Brian Ross' investigation into Bernie and Ruth Madoff.

When Madoff called his sons Mark and Andy into his office to confess to his Ponzi scheme, it was the last time his secretary Eleanor Squillari saw him.

Squillari worked for Madoff for 25 years. She is upset prosecutors have yet to move against others she believes were involved in the scam.

" I'm very angry, I'm very angry," said Squillari. "I am not an authority on what the FBI should be doing but I'm totally baffled that there haven't been more arrests."

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