List of potential victims grows in NY fraud case

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Investors who put their fortunes in the hands of arrested New York money manager Bernard Madoff are waiting to hear how much of their stake is left.

The roster of potential victims in what prosecutors said was a $50 billion Ponzi scheme has grown exponentially longer in the past few days.

Madoff, 70, said in regulatory filings that he only had around 25 clients, but it has become apparent that the list of people who lost money may number in the hundreds or even thousands.

Among those who have acknowledged potential losses so far: Former Philadelphia Eagles owner Norman Braman, New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and J. Ezra Merkin, the chairman of GMAC Financial Services.

A charity in Massachusetts that supports Jewish programs, the Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, said it had invested its entire $8 million endowment with Madoff. The organization's executive director said she doesn't expect it to survive.

Other institutions that believed they had lost millions included The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and the Texas-based Julian J. Levitt Foundation.

Hedge funds and other investment groups looked like big losers too. The Fairfield Greenwich Group said it had some $7.5 billion in investments linked to Madoff. A private Swiss bank, Banque Benedict Hentsch Fairfield Partners SA, said it had $47.5 million worth of client assets at risk.

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