Madoff Scandal Also Hits Small Business Owners

In recent weeks, a galaxy of marquee names in finance, philanthropy and even Hollywood have turned up, ensnared in the far-reaching Ponzi scheme allegedly orchestrated by Bernie Madoff. However, today’s Los Angeles Times reports that restaurateur Nancy Silverton, founder of La Brea Bakery and the owner of Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza lost the $5 million she invested with Stanley Chais, a Beverly Hills money manager, who then entrusted the funds to Madoff. The money represented Silverton’s nest egg, including her retirement fund as well as money she had earmarked for her three children and their educations.

“I was silly and I learned a lot,” exclaimed Silverton, who said she went against the advice of her father who told her to diversify her investments, “I will never not diversify…The returns I saw on paper were so lucrative, I thought, I’ll take care of it someday…I’ll do it next month.” Clearly chastened, the noted foodie said: “The last $25 to my name is very secure under my mattress.”
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