Becoming a Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim - Aspen Real Life
Chapter Three: Living in a Fairy Tale

Becoming a Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim

[su_heading size=”18″]Becoming a Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim[/su_heading]

Much to my regret, my family, my sisters, my mother, my aunts and the Queen of Holland are being recognized all over the world thanks to Bernard Madoff who made-off with our money.

Everywhere I turn there are sympathetic people offering their condolences. They are sorry that my family is suffering an injustice. I look at them and smile and wait for comments to sink in like, “it is not right that society thinks it is okay to be a voyeur in other people’s private lives.”?? I wait longer and find myself making assumptions about their thoughts, “I didn’t know she was part of that wealthy Jewish society that got suckered by a fellow member of the tribe. Why does she still look happy? Would a person who thinks that she is a Princess be offended if I invited her to live in our basement if she loses her house? I really should help out with the kids, make them dinner and send them some money.” Wait, that was me trying to infuse my thoughts back into their sympathetic brains.

Growing up, my two sisters and I endured endless lectures from our father as he attempted to train us on the importance of a secure financial future. He was obsessive about making the most of his hard- earned money and build upon the savings that he and my mother had inherited from their hard-working parents who had lost their family and everything they had owned in the Holocaust. With sheer determination my grandfather started from nothing and built a shoe manufacturing business in England. It was my father’s life-long ambition to ensure that he was doing his part to add to that legacy.

Madoff and Picard ruining families
My Family

We would hear him from afar stating that he was going for a walk and we would scatter. Inevitably, he would seek one of us out and demand that he be accompanied. Our eyes would roll back into our heads as he would talk stock market jargon and finance. If only he had an interpreter to explain things to us in laymen terms, we might not have immediately zoned out and missed so many opportunities for valuable advice! Capturing us in the zone, he would irritatingly tell us to make sure we landed where we took off from. He took pride in the fact that all of his research and connections led him to Bernard Madoff who was bringing in a consistent and solid return. In 1997, my father passed away from Melanoma, convinced that he had done well for his wife and children.

It is very surreal for my husband, Wade, and I to become part of the stereotype connected to the Ponzi scheme victims. It is also maddening to read the comments stating that people were greedy or stupid to invest with Madoff. Greedy? Is it greedy to try to make the most out of your money? Investigating and trusting a highly reputable investment firm is not greedy behavior. We thought that we were safely saving for our future. Were we stupid for not diligently following the proper steps to check up on Madoff? We were following some of the most brilliant people in the world who had also invested with Madoff. We felt secure in doing the same.

Like the other victims we have been reading about in the papers, we have no idea how this devastating situation will be resolved. When my four year old overheard Wade and I talking about how Madoff was going to jail, he quietly and sadly asked why Rudolph was going to prison.

My family and I have been laughing hard a lot together lately. We are living month to month, hanging on by a thread and our thermostats are on 60. In the mornings we all converge in the kitchen dawning our hats, huge Quicksilver sweaters and slippers. We look like some sort of rock band.

All we want to do is rebuild our lives, just as our families have done in the past but now with Irving Picard after us, we stand the chance of losing everything we own. EVERYTHING!


Sharing is Caring 💙

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

7 thoughts on “Becoming a Madoff Ponzi Scheme Victim”

  1. Jillian – I found your blog and I love it. I am going to be checking in regularly as you have a real gift!!!
    Heidi F (your cousin in VT)

    Reply
  2. Loved your column in the Aspen Times, today.

    My heart goes out to you and your beautiful family. I know everything will be okay.

    Just wanted you to know that our family holds no preconceptions about your family, apart from those encouraged by your beautiful essay and the lovely picture on your blog.

    Wish there were other things I could say or do to offer support.

    Love,

    Addison and family

    Reply
  3. My father taught me …..often in life there are huge dissapoinments. But, after time when you can get more perspective you can look back and see that there was an important silver lining, a lesson learned, a blessing in disguise, or maybe it was really not a dissappoinment after all?? etc. etc.
    Glad to see you too understand this twist about life Jillian!

    Reply
  4. Happy Saturday SITS Sharefest! Great post! You definitely have a talent for this blogging-thing! 🙂 Glad I found you…will be back to read more!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Check us Out on Instagram

Check us Out on Facebook

2 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Get your tickets and support this incredible fundraiser supporting WindWalkers Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy Center"Please join WindWalkers Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy Center for our first annual Wranglers and Rhinestones Fundraiser on Saturday, October 23rd. Join us for an evening filled with local bites, specialty cocktails, lawn games, silent auction, and the talented singer/song writer Bailey Callahan."Buy tickets now before they sell out by clicking here: www.instagram.com/p/CU_YrUhoJxh/?utm_medium=copy_link ...
View on Facebook

1 week ago

Aspen Real Life
Repost @harveyprestongallery・・・SEAN MUCKIAN: this is what i do at home⁣Saturday, October 9, 2021 5-6:30pm⁣Please join us on this Saturday for an experimental audio experience by Sean Muckian. Using modern versions of the hardware that birthed Hip-Hop and House music, the artist will explore pattern, rhythm, layering and modulation.⁣Drop into an unrehearsed environment and get lost in this aural event!⁣Sound on for a sampling :)⁣#harveyprestongallery @smmuck #seanmuckian #soundperformance⁣#experimentalspund #hiphop #house⁣ ...
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Aspen Real Life
Aspen Real Life's cover photo ...
View on Facebook

2 weeks ago

Aspen Real Life
It's amazing the treasures one finds when one slows down to take an old pup out for daily slow walks. Having been up in Aspen for 5 years, I forgot about this old Fairview Cemetery that Loki guided me to where I discovered Merino Fiou: Merino Bruno Fiou, AKA “Mr. Basalt”, born July 29, 1940 in Glenwood Springs and died March 6, 2011 at Valley View Hospital.This from the Aspen Times: A constant staple of the Town of Basalt, Merino was always on the search for a treasure that few of us cherished. He had a love of hats and was always seen wearing a different one. He walked many miles each day back and forth into town.Many local merchants of different stores knew him by name. Merino was very proud of his money jar that he accumulated by turning in his aluminum cans that he collected. Merino had many jobs throughout the years including trash pickup and working at Two Rivers Cafe washing dishes. He liked to help out wherever needed, even volunteering when they built the playground. Merino was very fond of River Days and loved to listen to the music in town. With a constant smile on his face, he was very friendly and never knew a stranger. Merino loved the annual yard sale at his house, looked forward to sifting through all the stuff, he found a treasure in things that other people threw out.Did anyone know Merino?#iseenya#mrbasalt#coolcemeteries ...
View on Facebook