Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Madoff Made Off With My State Senator's Money

Hat tip to Cheryl for forwarding me this article from Yahoo! Finance, "NJ state senator loses $1.3M life savings". Excerpts from the article:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey Sen. Loretta Weinberg's nest egg had grown to about $1.3 million before investments with disgraced Wall Street investor Bernard Madoff wiped her out.

The 73-year-old grandmother believed she was financially secure until recently, when an accountant phoned a relative to say the Weinberg family's investments -- including the senator's and those of many in her family -- were now worth nothing.


"I was shocked first of all," said Weinberg, a Democrat representing Bergen County. "I had never heard of Bernie Madoff. My money was invested, along with many extended family members, with a financial adviser in Los Angeles."

The Weinbergs' money manager, Stanley Chais, had invested his clients' IRAs, 401Ks and other funds with Madoff.


Despite losing her life savings, Weinberg, who makes $49,000 a year as a state legislator, isn't moping.

The liberal lawmaker said she still has the work that she loves and the ability to pay her mortgage.

"I'm really better off than a lot of people around us in our society today," she said. "I may be better off than some of the people who got ripped off in this scandal."

Weinberg's even come up with laugh lines about her predicament.

For example, she's been joking with friends that she's going to earn money by starting a new franchise: Granny's Pizza Delivery. The deliverers will use walkers that have been retrofitted with pizza-warming trays. She laughingly predicts that those grannies, including her, could pull in big tips.

I can't say I've ever voted for the lady, who has been called the most liberal politician in New Jersey (although my father volunteered for her when she was an assemblywoman), but I give her credit for holding onto her sense of humor in the face of this disaster.

The photo above, of Senator Weinberg with President-elect Obama, is from Senator Weinberg's website.

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