Madoff Scam Hits Harvard Medical School Grants and affiliate Beth Israel Medical Center
Posted Dec 21 2008 10:09pm
Diabetes research projects may go on hold. This is sad that the Foundation is having to close and that renovation projects may be delayed or put on hold as well. In the year 2007 the foundation showed a$952 million market value.
It makes one wonder if there will be more of these individuals exposed as time rolls on and the money runs dry, as at that point there’s not much else one can do but come clean. Perhaps the securities and exchange commission can maybe look at what the likes of what Quick Books does, allow online auditing of large financial institutions under their jurisdiction, which should have been done long before now. First it was the FDA behind times with technology and now perhaps the SEC too. Is the SEC having to chase paper for audits at this stage of the game? Madoff was one of the first leaders with using technology back in the 80s to make stock purchases and sales automated to speed up the process, so one guess on who may have had the better technology resources here? I don’t believe it was the SEC. BD
Harvard Medical School researchers Jeffrey S. Flier and Barbara B. Kahn were on their way to New York Monday morning when they received e-mails from Barbara Picower—philanthropist and president of one of the nation's largest educational foundations—saying that their scheduled meeting was off. That the e-mail came just days after Wall Street trader Bernard L. Madoff had been accused of running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme—the largest in history by a single individual—made Flier and Kahn immediately suspect that something was amiss. The doctors were on their way to meeting to present the results of their diabetes research thus far to Picower, whose foundation supported the work.
"It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that the Picower Foundation has ceased all grant-making, effective immediately, and will close its doors in the coming months," Picower wrote. "The foundation's endowment was managed by Bernard L. Madoff, who, as you well know, was arrested on Dec. 11 for securities fraud."
Flier, who is also the dean of the Medical School, was awarded $1.5 million last October to further his work in diabetes and metabolism over the next three years. Kahn, who heads the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at Harvard-affiliate Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center received $1.35 million. Carl and Ruth Shapiro, the Boston couple who lost nearly half their foundation's assets through Madoff's fund, pledged in a statement last week to honor "all existing commitments."
Beth Israel received two grants totaling $12 million in recent years to renovate the Shapiro Clinical Center and to fund the teaching hospital's education programs. The multi-year commitments were to be paid over several years, according to Beth Israel's chief executive, Paul F. Levy.