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It has been the public's perception that Madoff investors were all extremely wealthy and all belonged to exclusive clubs. This perception has been reinforced by the media and the powers that be. The truth is, with very few exceptions, such as Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Picower and Stanley Chais-most were average, small time investors. They lived an average American life; they worked hard, contributed to society and saved for their retirement years. But in the end that was not enough. No one, it turns out, could protect them from the worst financial criminal in history, Bernard L. Madoff. As a result, they were thrown tragically into one club they never expected to join: the "club" of victims. This is their story. It is the first book of its kind about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, in which twenty nine Madoff investors band together to tell their story. The authors come from all walks of life, from different ethnic and religious backgrounds and from all parts of the country. Baring private details and exposing the truth about who the real victims are, they don't hold back as to who they think enabled the scheme to continue for so long. The readers need to know what the authorities would rather keep from them, or else they are destined to become the next victims. The book's message is: This can happen to anyone. This is a story of financial devastation, of lessons learned, of hope and rebirth. It has been over a year since the fraud came to light and the survivors are ready to share their experience and the hard learned lessons. Though the financial disaster caused major transformations in their lives, their spirit has not been broken. As one of the authors in this book summed up eloquently, "There will always be meaningful work to be done, more fun to be had and lots more people to love." And in the end, it is the message of hope the authors wish to convey.
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These are the twenty nine authors who contributed to this book, all were Madoff investors: Maureen A. Ebel, Mary Thomajan, Richard M. Friedman, Cynthia Friedman, Stephanie Halio, Steven Norton, Emma De Vita, Michael De Vita, Joanne M., Stephanie E., Timothy Murray, NES, Ellen Bernfeld, Renee Rosen, Elisabetta Sandolo, Jeannene Langford, Joanna W., Sarah Fisk,Norma Hill, Lyn S., AKL, Robert Halio, LAS, Jackie S., SM, RV, Robin Jungreis Swernoff, Allan Goldstein, Alexandra Roth
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