Picower Foundation Shut Down after $1 Billion Loss in Madoff Ponzi Fraud

AP via ABC News reports closing of another victim of the Madoff fraud, a billion dollar foundation that supported biomedical research:
Barbara Picower, who along with her husband, Jeffry, established the Picower Foundation in 1989, said in a statement on Friday that the foundation's grant-making would cease "effective immediately" and that it would "close its doors in the coming months."

She wrote in the statement that Madoff's "act of fraud has had a devastating impact on tens and thousands of lives as well as numerous philanthropic foundations and nonprofit organization."

Madoff is accused of swindling investors of $50 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme. He was ordered on Friday to remain in his Manhattan home under 24-hour surveillance and to hire security guards for protection.

The Picower Foundation has given millions to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Human Rights First and the New York Public Library. It also funded diabetes research at Harvard Medical School. It is based in Palm Beach, Fla., and has offices in New York.

The foundation, whose assets were managed by Madoff, said in its 2007 tax return its investment portfolio was valued at nearly $1 billion.

The foundation is by far one of the largest national philanthropic organizations to become mired in the financial mess created by Madoff's alleged scheme.

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