Bintel Blog

Just Be Glad Your Last Name Is Not Madoff

By Gabrielle Birkner

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New York’s other B. Madoff — Ben, not Bernie; pronounced MAD-off, not MADE-off — has been a target of some of the rage directed at the admitted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff. Listed in the Manhattan phonebook, Ben Madoff, no relation to Bernie, has received dozens of angry calls — several of them anti-Semitic in nature — and one suspicious-looking package, since Bernard Madoff’s December 11, 2008 arrest, The New York Times reports:

The other day, Ben Madoff’s phone rang at 4:30 in the morning. “I’d hope that if you’re angry enough at him to want place a call,” he said, “you might follow the news closely enough to realize that he’s at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, not on the Upper West Side.”

“A surprising number of callers are wounded victims who were just at a loss,” he said. “I feel for them.” But others are “hateful.” They include some who have used the scandal as “a camouflaged opportunity” to spew anti-Semitic venom, he said.

Last week, he took a call from a woman in Illinois. “She said, ‘Are you Bernard Madoff?’ ” Ben Madoff said. “I said: ‘No, I’m not. You have the wrong number.’ And she said, ‘Are you a Jew, too?’ ” He hung up.

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