Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff's alleged $50-billion Ponzi scheme appears to have extended deeply into Southern California's Jewish community, with millions of dollars in losses tallied Monday by charitable organizations, Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and a foundation bankrolled by director Steven Spielberg.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles were on a growing list of victims emerging in the wake of Madoff's arrest in New York. The Southland-based Chais Family Foundation, dedicated to Jewish causes, was reported to have shut down after losing money invested with Madoff.
Federal authorities say Madoff, a legendary Wall Street figure, confessed last week to running a years-long Ponzi scheme, a fraud in which early investors are paid artificially high returns using money put up by later investors.
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