Stolen Bernard Madoff Statue Returned with Lesson for Financier

January 1, 2009

Statue Stolen from Bernard Madoff Found in Palm Beach, Florida on New Year's Eve

Two pest control workers, Steven Zeleznik and Josh Harmon, who work for Island Environmental Pest Control in West Palm Beach, Florida, were on their way to a job site yesterday morning when they found a $10,000 statue stolen from disgraced financier Bernard Madoff’s Palm Beach home. Attached to the copper statue of two seated lifeguards was a pointed note that read: “Bernie the Swindler, Lesson: Return stolen property to rightful owners.” The note was signed, “The Educators.”

The statue — in perfect condition — was found next to a hedgerow along the Lake Trail behind the Palm Beach Country Club, in a location where it was sure to be found, police said.


Disgraced Financier Bernard Madoff

The five-foot sculpture was stolen from Madoff’s $9.4 million North Lake Way estate. It overlooked the lake side of the Madoff home and was reported missing by a Madoff housekeeper on December 22, about a week after he was arrested for running what’s been described as the world’s largest Ponzi scheme. Investors have allegedly lost an estimated $50 billion in the swindle. On December 11, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint against Madoff, 70, alleging that he and his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, committed fraud. Madoff, a former chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, has also been criminally charged by U.S. prosecutors in New York, but hasn’t yet appeared in court to formally answer the charges. The disgraced financier remains under house arrest in his $7 million Manhattan apartment.

Learn how the global economic meltdown has affected a tiny European country.

Photo credit: Lee Hershfield / Palm Beach Daily News

Copyright © 2009