In a letter posted on its website on Thursday, Dec. 9, Hadassah President Nancy Falchuk reported the settlement reached by the organization with Irving Picard, the trustee of Madoff’s estate. Hadassah’s history with Madoff dates back to 1988, when the organization was introduced to Bernard Madoff securities by a French donor, thorugh a $7 million gift. In addition to the gift, between 1988 and 1996, the organization deposited $33 million into its Madoff accounts. By April 2007, Hadassah had withdrawn $137 million. The last account statement showed approximately $90 million at the time the fraud was discovered. The $45 million represents 50 percent of what the organization unwittingly earned unwittingly in the scam. Hadassah entered into the settlement in order to sidestep a lawsuit by Picard. The trustee has already sued a number of individuals, organizations and foundations that made money in the scam.
“As painful as it is, this settlement is in the best interest of Hadassah,” Falchuk wrote in her letter. “It allows us to put this chapter behind us, and move forward with our critical life-affirming mission. A charitable mission praised by the trustee for its philanthropic value.”
One of those named in a civil suit by Picard was the elder of Madoff’s two sons, Mark Madoff. The 46-year old, who steadfastly maintained that he knew nothing of his father’s scam, was found dead of a suicide on Saturday, Dec. 11, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. Just hours before he killed himself, according to police, Mark Madoff sent an e-mail to his attorney, Martin Flumenbaum, saying “Nobody wants to believe the truth. Please take care of my family.”