Baltimore Fire, Police Staff Lose $3.5 Million in Pension Money to Madoff Scam

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Julie Bykowicz
Baltimore Sun
January 3, 2009

Baltimore police and fire employees lost about $3.5 million in pension money invested in a fund with ties to disgraced money manager Bernard L. Madoff.

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Madoff’s alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme has dented public funds and nonprofits across the country, with new victims discovered daily. Also affecting Maryland is the demise of a justice foundation that routinely gave millions to organizations such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Baltimore’s Job Opportunities Task Force. The JEHT Foundation announced days after Madoff was arrested that it had lost everything and would close at the end of this month. JEHT was slated to give a consortium of Maryland crime groups, including the Baltimore Safe & Sound Campaign, $500,000 for “crime fighting strategies,” said Thomasina Hiers, assistant secretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Hiers did not describe the project or say whether it could continue.

Madoff, who is on home detention after his Dec. 11 arrest in New York, provided a catalog of assets to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on New Year’s Eve. Regulators are working to untangle the web of affected investors.

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