Bill in Congress demands “equitable treatment” for Madoff victims

Friday, December 11th, 2009

And you thought health care reform was the big issue on Capital Hill this month? What about tax relief for Bernie Madoff’s army of victims?

A year after the Madoff affair broke into headlines across the world, a coalition  representing the victims of Madoff’s and other Ponzi rip-offs are lobbying for legislation to provide an extended “carryback” period for their losses.

The group – the Coalition for the Equitable Treatment of Victims of Massive Financial Theft – wants victims to be able to “recoup their taxes paid on falsely reported income,” said Ed Glazer, the group’s president, in a press release.

While some of Madoff’s victims were rich people trying to get even richer, others were worthy charities and ordinary folks who lost their life savings, the group points out.

“These investors, many who are living on a fixed income, were defrauded and now face an uncertain future,” said Representative Kendrick Meek of Florida in the same press release. “They are liquidating assets, selling real estate and returning to work in the midst of an economic recession.”

Meek has a bill in the House providing tax relief to Madoff’s and other Ponzi scheme victims.

Makes sense to me. But maybe Congress should also appropriate money for some education on this essential truth: if an investment seems too good to be true, it probably is.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.