Fraud victim recalls financial blow on premiere of ABC show 'Madoff'

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One Houstonian was one of the many who trusted billionaire swindler Bernie Madoff with her family's money and lived to regret it.

For one Houston woman, watching the first episode of the ABC miniseries "Madoff," the true story behind the billionaire swindler Bernie Madoff, was more that just a show on television, it was part of her life.

Joyce Greenberg was one of thousands of victims of Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme, but one of just a few in Houston. She has never publicly said how much she lost but says it was "substantial." She, her family and friends invested with Madoff. They trusted him. The scam was shocking.

"Surprised that somebody would have so little conscious to hurt as many innocent people as he did," said Greenberg in her Galleria-area home after watching the TV show. "I know plenty of people who were angry. I was stunned."

Madoff confessed in 2008. More than seven years later, Greenberg has recouped about half the money she lost. The miniseries, she hopes, will teach some lessons about investing and trust.

"I think it makes people aware of the fact that investment managers who look innocent can be crooks, and they just need to investigate more thoroughly," Greenberg said.

Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison but the toll it's taken on his family has been, perhaps, more punishing. Both his sons have died since his con -- called the biggest in history -- was exposed. One committed suicide. The other died from cancer.

"Bernie is getting what he deserved and unfortunately the victims may never be made whole. It's all very sad," Greenberg said.
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