Morning Brief: Madoff Lists Includes Local Names

The alleged Ponzi scheme by Bernard L. Madoff has claimed several big local names as its victims. Nearly 250 Washington area names, including some of the region's most prominent and wealthiest business people, are on a new list of possible customers of the New York investment firm operated by Madoff.

Staff writers Megan Greenwell and Dana Hedgpeth take a closer look at that list here. Some of the big local names include many involved in real estate development, such as entities connected to the Gewirz, Abramson and Smith families; Edward H. Kaplan; Allan R. Hurwitz; and Albert H. Small.

Other local names include Marion Rosenthal, whose family owns major car dealerships in the area; Esthy Adler, a big arts donor; Harvard scientist William A. Haseltine, founder of Human Genome Sciences in Rockville; and Roger Sant of AES Corp., a Virginia-based power company.

No dollar amounts of losses appear on the list, which became public Wednesday. Madoff allegedly ran a scheme that cost friends and investors their personal fortunes and wiped out the money of charitable foundations. He is under house arrest.

Ealsewhre, there could be some clouds gathering for the defense industry, which is big business locally. Staff writers Dana Hedgpeth and Steven Mufson report that the massive buildup in defense spending during the Bush administration is over with the change in Washington.

President Obama has vowed to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and has hailed the role of America's "soft power." And a bulging federal deficit will force a tough look at pricey weapons systems such as the F-22 fighter jet and a new Navy destroyer.

"The spigot of defense spending that opened on 9/11 is closing," Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "With two major campaigns ongoing, the economic crisis and resulting budget pressures will force hard choices on this department."

And in District news, an architectural review board on Thursday ordered Apple to redraw plans for a store in Georgetown, the fourth time it has rejected the company's submission.

The Old Georgetown Board told Apple's architect that it is eager for the store to open on Wisconsin Avenue. But the three members, all architects, expressed disappointment that Apple keeps proposing a design that they have criticized.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  February 6, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Pyramid builders who left early already laughed their way to the banks. They're smart. If I got caught in a failed pyramid scheme, my friends, my relatives would see me as an equation, me=dumb. If I were rich and got caught in a failed pyramid, I'd become me=greedy. I think Monsieur Madoff made many people look bad. The Madame is supposed to bring pleasure to people, the Monsieur's supposed to bring wealth.

Posted by: scooterlibre | February 7, 2009 7:12 PM

I am curious about one of the names refered to in the article. Can anyone tell me how to look up his real estate holdings? I am also a victim.

Posted by: lucy42 | February 8, 2009 3:51 PM

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