David Werber was retired 15 years when he discovered his life savings was gone. Werber and his wife Iris had moved from Merrick, Long Island to Boynton Beach, Florida but now they are concerned they might have to go back to work.
“It’s pretty hard to be retired now,” said David Werber, “It’s a pretty difficult situation.”
The Werbers attended a meeting in Port Washington, NY with about 150 other people, almost all of them burned by money manager Bernard Madoff. Madoff, 71 years old, pleaded guilty on March 12 to defrauding investors by using money from new ones to pay off old ones. Investors lost as much as $65 billion in the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.
“We received his statement every month, we checked all the buys and sells, we were careful,” said Iris Werber, “But we were taken, we were really taken and the government is not helping.”
Ron Stein, a financial advisor, whose extended relatives were defrauded by Madoff, organized this meeting. He started the website Madoff-Help.com to assist Madoff investors. Stein is concerned about the July 2nd deadline for investors to claim their refunds, up to $500,000 dollars from the Security Investment Protection Corporation (SIPC).
“There are over 5000 SIPC claims that have not been submitted yet,” said Stein. “That’s 5000 people who aren’t going to get their money back.”
The other date on the minds of investors is June 29, that’s when Madoff, who’s facing as many as 150 years in prison, is sentenced.
“I’m not interested whether they get a lifetime or not,” said Iris Werber. “They stole our money and that’s all there is to it. He did a terrible injustice to normal average people.”