Madoff victim faults government response - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Madoff victim faults government response

By Chuck Weber email

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - A Manhattan bankruptcy court has released a list of Bernard Madoff account holders and many are in Palm Beach County. One of those named is unhappy about what's being done - or not done - for the victims.

The list is 162-pages, each with 84 single-spaced lines of Madoff investment accounts. In the first 12 pages, nearly 1 of 10 entries has a Palm Beach County address.

"I've been with Mr. Madoff 30 years," said Larry Leif of Palm Beach Gardens on Thursday. You'll find Leif on page 76 of the list.

"Every dime of my life went to Madoff," exclaimed Leif. "Every dime. Everything. Everything's gone." Meaning millions.

Leif says he's disappointed about the release of the list. "Certain people are private," explains Leif.

But a bigger sore spot is Congressional hearings, which so far have focused on what went wrong and fixing things for the future. An exasperated Leif says,"I haven't heard one word about how are we going to help the victims of the biggest failure of the United States government." A failure of government oversight, Leif believes.

Leif wants the government to refund income taxes paid by Madoff investors. Leif says he's paid millions in taxes on money that wasn't really there. "Give us back the income tax that we paid on money we never made," said Leif.

We asked 16th District Congressman Tom Rooney of Palm Beach Gardens about paying back Madoff victims their tax money. "I hear what you're saying with regard to the taxes," said Rep. Rooney. "That could be a possibility. But unfortunately I don't think there's going to be too many happy endings with Madoff."

Leif says his friends and former employees are all Madoff victims too. So he's dedicating his remaining resources and next years of his life to getting himself and the others at least some of their money back. He says he's already written the President and Members of Congress. "I am going to get the attention of the United States government," asserts Leif.

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