Gabor lost $10m in Madoff scheme


ZSA ZSA Gabor lost as much as $10 million (€7.7 million) to accused swindler Bernard Madoff, according to her attorney, Chris Fields.

“We are making an assessment of the full extent of the losses,” Mr Fields said yesterday. “We’re meeting with accountants to find out where everything leads.”

The 91-year-old actor and her ninth husband, Frederic von Anhalt, invested with Mr Madoff through a Los Angeles-based money manager that Mr Fields declined to identify. The money manager never told the couple about Mr Madoff or explained the risks, Mr Fields said.

The attorney said he is representing five clients who together lost as much as $35 million.

Gabor joins a growing list of Hollywood notables whose losses to Mr Madoff have become public, including director Steven Spielberg and actor Kevin Bacon.

Mr Madoff was arrested on December 11th after allegedly confessing to federal investigators that he ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Mr Von Anhalt said yesterday that he and Gabor may face financial ruin. They could be forced to sell artwork, jewellery and their home in Bel-Air, he said.

“We didn’t expect that. When you count on the returns, you depend on the money. It’s bad. You go to get your money back and all you have is a bunch of worthless papers.”

The financial burden is taking a physical toll, Mr von Anhalt said. “My wife is close to a heart attack and I’m close to a nervous breakdown.”

Federal authorities have charged Mr Madoff (70) with securities fraud for allegedly using billions of dollars from new investors to pay off older ones.

“If I was in New York I would take a baseball stick and hit this terrible man over the head,” Mr von Anhalt said– (Bloomberg)