September 23, 2009

Laptop theft compromises Madoff victims

Personal information concerning victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme was on a laptop computer stolen in Dallas, a firm processing victims' claims said.

Tim Yost, a spokesman for AlixPartners said, we have no reason to believe it (personal information) has been compromised, in a theft that occurred in a parking lot in July, Newsday reported Wednesday.

Police described the theft as one of several smash and grab incidents that occurred on the same night.

Social security numbers, names, addresses and some investment information involving 2,246 Madoff investors was on the computer.

The court appointed trustee overseeing victims' claims Irving Picard has identified $13 billion in losses among 2,336 investors so far. To date, he has received more than 15,000 claims, the newspaper said.

Madoff, who pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud in March, is serving a 150-year prison sentence.

One investor, Richard Friedman of Jericho, N.Y., was affronted by the salt-in-the-wound theft of personal information.

So, this happened two months ago and now they are first telling us. What are we, fourth-class citizens? he said.