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Last week, the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof published a list of foundations that had investments with Bernie Madoff. Two local foundations were listed-- the

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Seahawks, Trail Blazers Co-Founder Among Madoff's Victims

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Last week, the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof published a list of foundations that had investments with Bernie Madoff. Two local foundations were listed--the Kaleidoscope Foundation and the Kevin and Patrice Auld Foundation.

But a list of Madoff's clients (pdf) released yesterday adds an even bigger local philanthropist to the list--real estate developer and investor Herman Sarkowsky, whose Sarkowsky Foundation is listed on page 132. Sarkowsky was a co-founder of the Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers, is a thoroughbred horse breeder, and has served on numerous local boards, even chairing those of Children's Hospital and the Seattle Art Museum. He was also previously the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.

While the dollar amount of the Sarkowsky Foundation's exposure hasn't

been released, it's also possible that we don't know the full potential

losses of the foundations on Kristof's list. Their exposure was

calculated by the amount of money they had listed as invested with Madoff on their most recent tax returns, but

it's possible they could lose money they'd withdrawn from their Madoff

investments in previous years. Explains the Wall Street Journal:

[I]nvestors who'd taken out money may be subject to redemption claims or

so-called clawbacks. Some of these types of claims could come should

Madoff's firm file bankruptcy. A trustee would argue that money taken

out in years' past never really existed because it was a Ponzi scheme

and any money paid out was really someone else's money, not an asset of

the fund. The trustee would ask for the return of the money so it could

be pooled and distributed among the victims.

Under New York state law, this could go back as far as six years.



As someone involved in a victimized foundation told us, on the condition of anonymity, untilthe litigation over payments is all worked out (which could take years), "Every foundation on that list is in a holding pattern."

We left a message with Sarkowsky Investments and have yet to hear back. More when we do.

 
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