The incredible story of Bernie Madoff’s mammoth Ponzi scheme has unfolded in several phases, as layer after layer of deception has been peeled away. The guilty plea of his accountant last week has raised expectations that further investigations may ensue. Meanwhile, a trustee has taken steps to begin to recoup some of the millions that were paid to investors, in an effort to restore some of those who had been swindled. Will the charities who “earned” or withdrew millions from Madoff accounts be subject to “clawbacks” by the trustee? Planned giving expert and blogger Jonathan Gudema has a fascinating look at this question.
For those in the philanthropic world, seeing stories in the press about the bankruptcy trustee in the Madoff mess, Irving Picard, and his attempts to recover assets has to make us wonder what will be with charities potentially involved in clawback suits.